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This book, divided into three parts, called his VISIONS, COMMANDS, and 
SIMILITUDES, is thus entitled, because it was composed by Hernias, brother to Pius, bish- 
op of Rome; and because the Angel, who bears the principal part in it, is represented in the 
form and habit of a shepherd. Irenxus quotes it under the very name of Scripture. Origen 
thought it a most useful writing, and that it was divinely inspired; Eusebius says that, though 
it was not esteemed canonical, it was read publicly in the churches, which is corroborated by 
Jerome; and Athanasius cites it, calls it a most useful work, and observes, that though it was 
not strictly canonical, the Fathers appointed it to be read for direction and confirmation in 
faith and piety. Jerome, notwithstanding this, and that he applauded it in his catalogue of 
writers, in his comments upon it afterwards, terms it apocryphal and foolish. Turtullian 
praised it when a Catholic, and abused it when a Montanist. Although Gelasius ranks it 
among the apocryphal books, it is found attached to some of the most ancient MSS. of the 
New Testament; and Archbishop Wake, believing it the genuine work of an apostolical Father, 
preserves it to the English reader by the foregoing translation, in which he has rendered the 
three parts of it not only more exact, but in greater purity than they had before appeared. The 
archbishop procured Dr. Grabe to entirely collate the old Eatin version with an ancient MS. in 
the Eambeth library; and the learned prelate himself still further improved the whole from a 
multitude of fragments of the original Greek never before used for that purpose. 



/ Against filthy and proud thoughts; 20 
also the neglect of Hermas in chastising 
his children. 

HE who had bred me up sold a cer- 
tain young maid at Rome; whom 
when I saw many years after, I re- 
membered her, and began to love her 
as a sister. It happened some time 
afterwards, that I saw her washing in 
the river. Tyber; and I reached out 
my hand unto her, and brought her 
out of the river, 

2 And when I saw her I thought 
with myself, saying, How happy 
should I be if I had such a wife, 
both for beauty and manners. This I 
thought with myself; nor did I think 
any thing more. But not long after, 
as I was walking, and musing on 
these thoughts, I began to honour 

this creature of God, thinking with 
myself; how noble and beautiful she 

3 And when I had walked a little, I 
fell asleep; and the spirit caught me 
away, and carried me through a cer- 
tain place towards the right hand, 
through which no man could pass. It 
was a place among rocks, very steep, 
and unpassable for water. 

4 When I was past this place, I came 
into a plain; and there falling down 
upon my knees, I began to pray unto 
the Lord, and to confess my sins. 

5 And as I was praying, the heaven 
was opened, and I saw the woman 
which I had coveted, saluting me 
from heaven, and saying, Hermas, 
hail! and I looking upon her, 
answered, Lady, what dost thou do 
here? She answered me, I am taken 
up hither to accuse thee of sin be- 
fore the Lord. 


H E R M A S 

6 Lady, said I, wilt thou convince 
me? No, said she: but hear the words 
which I am about to speak unto thee. 
God who dwelleth in heaven, and 
hath made all things out of nothing, 
and hath multiplied them for his 
holy church's sake, is angry with thee 
because thou hast sinned against me. 

7 And I answering said unto her, 
Lady, if I have sinned against thee, 
tell me where, or in what place, or 
when did I ever speak an unseemly 
or dishonest word unto thee? 

8 Have I not always esteemed thee 
as a lady? Have I not always rever- 
enced thee as a sister? Why then dost 
thou imagine these wicked things 
against me? 

9 Then she, smiling upon me, said: 
the desire of naughtiness has risen 
up in thy heart. Does it not seem to 
thee to be an ill thing for a righteous 
man to have an evil desire rise up in 
his heart. 

10 It is indeed a sin, and that a very 
great sin, to such a one; for a right- 
eous man thinketh that which is 
righteous. And whilst he does so, 
and walketh uprightly, he shall have 
the Lord in heaven favourable unto 
him in all his business. 

11 But as for those who think 
wickedly in their hearts, they take to 
themselves death and captivity; and 
especially those who love this 
present world, and glory in their 
riches, and regard not the good 
things that are to come; their souls 
wander up and down and know not 
where to fix. 

12 Now this is the case of such as 
are double-minded, who trust not in 
the Lord, and despise and neglect 
their own life. 

13 But do thou pray unto the Lord, 
and he will heal thy sins, and the sins 
of thy whole house, and of all his 

14 As soon as she had spoken these 
words the heaven were shut, and I 
remained utterly swallowed up with 
sadness and fear: and said within 
myself, if this be laid against me for 
sin, how can I be saved. 

15 Or how should I ever be able to 
entreat the Lord for my many and 
great sins? With what words shall I 
beseech him to be merciful unto me? 

16 As I was thinking over these 
things, and meditating in myself 
upon them, behold a chair was set 
over against me of the whitest wool, 
as bright as snow. 

17 And there came an old woman in 
a bright garment, having a book in 
her hand, and sat alone, and saluted 
me, saying, Hermas, hail! and I being 
full of sorrow and weeping, 
answered, Hail Lady! 

18 And she said unto me, Why art 
thou sad, Hermas, who wert wont to 
be patient, and modest, and always 
cheerful? I answered, and said to 
her, Lady, a reproach has been laid 
to my charge by an excellent woman, 
who tells me that I have sinned 
against her. 

19 She replied, Far be any such 
thing from the servant of God. But 
it may be the desire of her has risen 
up in thy heart? For indeed such a 
thought maketh the servants of God 
guilty of sin. 

20 Nor ought such a detestable 
thought to be in the servant of God: 
nor should he who is approved by 
the Spirit desire that which is evil; 
but especially Hermas, who contains 
himself from all wicked lusts, and is 
full of all simplicity, and of great in- 

21 Nevertheless the Lord is not so 
much angry with thee for thine own 
sake, as upon the account of thy 
house, which has committed wicked- 


H E R M A S 

ness against the Lord, and against 
their parents. 

22 And for that out of thy fondness 
towards thy sons, thou hast not ad- 
monished thy house, but hast per- 
mitted them to live wickedly; for this 
cause the Lord is angry with thee: 
but he will heal all the evils that are 
done in thy house. For through their 
sins and iniquities, thou art wholly 
consumed in secular affairs. 

23 But now the mercy of God hath 
taken compassion upon thee, and 
upon thine house, and hath greatly 
comforted thee. Only as for thee, do 
not wander, but be of an even mind, 
and comfort thy house. 

24 As the workman bringing forth 
his work, offers it to whomsoever he 
pleaseth; so shalt thou by teaching 
every day what is just, cut off a 
great sin. Wherefore cease not to ad- 
monish thy sons, for the Lord knows 
that they will repent with all their 
heart, and they shall be written in 
the book of life. 

25 And when she had said this, she 
added unto me; Wilt thou hear me 
read? I answered her, Lady, I will. 

26 Hear then, said she; and opening 
the book she read, gloriously, 
greatly, and wonderfully, such things 
as I could not keep in my memory. 
For they were terrible words, such as 
no man could bear. 

27 How it be I committed her last 
words to my remembrance; for they 
were but few, and of great use to us: 

28 Behold the mighty Lord, who by 
his invisible power, and with his ex- 
cellent wisdom made the world, and 
by his glorious counsel beautified his 
creature, and with the word of his 
strength fixed the heaven, and foun- 
ded the earth upon the waters; and 
by his powerful virtue established 

the Holy Church, which he hath 

29 Behold he will remove the heav- 
ens, and the mountains, the hills, and 
the seas; and all things shall be made 
plain for his elect; that he may 
render unto them the promise which 
he has promised, with much honour 
and joy; if so be that they shall keep 
the commandments of God, which 
they have received with great faith. 

30 And when she had made an end 
of reading, she rose out of the chair; 
and behold four young men came, 
and carried the chair to the east. 

31 And she called me unto her, and 
touched my breast, and said unto me, 
Did my reading please thee? I 
answered, Lady, these last things 
please me; but what went before was 
severe and hard. 

32 She said unto me, these last 
things are for the righteous, but the 
foregoing for the revolters and hea- 

33 And as she was talking with me, 
two men appeared, and took her 
upon their shoulders, and went to 
the east where the chair was. 

34 And she went cheerfully away; 
and as she was going, said unto me, 
Hermas, be of good cheer. 


Again, of his neglect in correcting his 
talkative wife; and of his lewd sons. 

AS I was on the way to Cuma, about 
the same time that I went the year 
before, I began to call to mind the 
vision I formerly had. And again the 
spirit carried me away, and brought 
me into the same place, in which I 
had been the year before. 

2 And when I was come into the 
place, I fell down upon my knees, 
and began to pray unto the Lord, 
and to glorify his name, that he had 


H E R M A S 

esteemed me worthy, and had mani- 
fested unto me my former sins. 

3 And when I arose from prayer, be- 
hold I saw over against me the old 
woman whom I had seen the last 
year, walking and reading in a certain 

4 And she said unto me, Canst thou 
tell these things to the elect of God? 
I answered and said unto her, Lady, I 
cannot retain so many things in my 
memory, but give me the book, and I 
will write them down. 

5 Take it, says she, and see that 
thou restore it again to me. 

6 As soon as I had received it, I 
went aside into a certain place of the 
field, and transcribe every letter, for 
I found no syllables. 

7 And as soon as I had finished 
what was written in the book, the 
book was suddenly caught out of my 
hand, but by whom I saw not. 

8 After fifteen days, when I had fas- 
ted, and entreated the Lord with all 
earnestness, the knowledge of the 
writing was revealed unto me. Now 
the writing was this: — 

9 Thy seed, O Hermas! hath sinned 
against the Lord, and have betrayed 
their parents, through their great 
wickedness. And they have been 
called the betrayers of their parents, 
and have gone on in their treachery. 

10 And now have they added lewd- 
ness to their other sins, and the pol- 
lutions of their naughtiness: thus 
have they filled up the measure of 
their iniquities. But do thou upbraid 
thy sons with all these words; and 
thy wife, who shall be as thy sister; 
and let her learn to refrain her 
tongue, with which she calumniates. 

11 And when she shall hear these 
things, she will refrain herself, and 
shall obtain mercy. 

12 And they also shall be instructed, 
when thou shalt have reproached 

them with these words, which the 
Lord has commanded to be revealed 
unto them. 

13 Then shall their sins be forgiven, 
which they have heretofore commit- 
ted, and the sins of all the saints 
who have sinned even unto this day; 
if they shall repent with all their 
hearts, and remove all doubts out of 
their hearts. 

14 For the Lord hath sworn by his 
glory concerning his elect, having 
determined this very time, that if 
any one shall even now sin, he shall 
not be saved. 

15 For the repentance of the right- 
eous has its end; the days of repent- 
ance are fulfilled to all the saints; 
but to the heathen, there is repent- 
ance even unto the last day. 

16 Thou shalt therefore say to those 
who are over the church, that they 
order their ways in righteousness; so 
that they may fully receive the prom- 
ise with much glory. 

17 Stand fast therefore ye that work 
righteousness and continue to do it, 
that your departure may be with the 
holy angels. 

18 Happy are ye, as many as shall 
endure the great trial that is at hand, 
and whosoever shall not deny his 

19 For the Lord hath sworn by his 
Son, that whoso, denieth his Son and 
HIM, being afraid of his life, he will 
also deny him in the world that is to 

20 But those who shall never deny 
him, he will of his exceeding great 
mercy be favourable unto them. 

21 But thou, O Hermas! remember 
not the evils which thy sons have 
done, neither neglect thy sister, but 
take care that they amend of their 
former sins. 

22 For they will be instructed by 
this doctrine, if thou shalt not be 


H E R M A S 

mindful of what they have done 

23 For the remembrance of evils 
worketh death, but the forgetting of 
them eternal life. 

24 But thou, O Hermas! hast under- 
gone a great many worldly troubles 
for the offences of thy house, be- 
cause thou hast neglected them, as 
things that did not belong unto thee; 
and thou art wholly taken up with 
thy great business. 

25 Nevertheless, for this cause shalt 
thou be saved, that thou hast not de- 
parted from the living God, and thy 
simplicity and singular continency 
shall preserve thee, if thou shalt 
continue in them. 

26 Yes, they shall save all such as do 
such things, and walk in innocence 
and simplicity. 

27 They who are of this kind shall 
prevail against all impiety, and con- 
tinue until life eternal. 

28 Happy are all they that do right- 
eousness, they shall not be consumed 
for ever. 

29 But thou wilt say, Behold there is 
a great trial coming. If it seem good 
to thee, deny him again. 

30 The Lord is nigh to them that 
turn to him, as it is written in the 
book of Heldam and Modal, who 
prophesied to the people of Israel in 
the wilderness. 

31 Moreover, brethren, it was re- 
vealed to me, as I was sleeping, by a 
very goodly young man, saying unto 
me, What thinkest thou of that old 
woman from whom thou receivedst 
the book; who is she? I answered, a 

32 Thou art mistaken said he, she is 
not. I replied, Who is she then, sir? 
He answered me, It is the church of 

33 And I said unto him, Why then 
does she appear old? She is there- 

fore, said he, an old woman, because 
she was the first of all the creation, 
and the world was made for her. 

34 After this I saw a vision at home 
in my own house, and the old wo- 
man, whom I had seen before, came 
to me and asked me whether I had 
yet delivered her book to the elders 
of the church? And I answered, that 
I had not yet. 

35 She replied, Thou hast well done, 
for I have certain words more to tell 
thee. But when I shall have finished 
all the words, they shall be clearly 
understood by the elect. 

36 And thou shalt write two books, 
and send one to Clement and one to 
Grapte. For Clement shall send it to 
the foreign cities, because it is per- 
mitted to him so to do: but Grapte 
shall admonish the widows and 

37 But thou shalt read in this city 
with the elders of the church. 


Of the building of the church tri- 
umphant, and of the several sorts of rep- 

THE vision which I saw, brethren, 
was this. 

2 When I had often fasted and 
prayed unto the Lord, that he would 
manifest unto me the revelation, 
which he had promised by the old 
woman to show unto me; the same 
night she appeared unto me, and said 
unto me, 

3 Because thou dost thus afflict thy- 
self, and art so desirous to know all 
things, come into the field, where 
thou wilt, and about the sixth hour, I 
will appear unto thee, and show thee 
what thou must see. 

4 I asked her, saying; Lady, into 
what part of the field? She 
answered, wherever thou wilt, only 
choose a good and a private place. 


H E R M A S 

And before I began to speak and tell 
her the place, she said unto me; I 
will come where thou wilt. 

5 I was therefore, brethren in the 
field and I observed the hours, and 
came into the place where I had ap- 
pointed her to come. 

6 And I beheld a bench placed; it 
was a linen pillow, and over it spread 
a covering of fine linen. 

7 When I saw these things ordered 
in this manner, and that there was 
nobody in the place, I began to be 
astonished, and my hair stood on 
end, and a, kind of horror seized 
me; for I was alone. 

8 But being come to myself, and 
calling to mind the glory of God, 
and taking courage, I fell down upon 
my knees and began again to confess 
my sins as before. 

9 And whilst I was doing this, the 
old woman came thither with the six 
young men whom I had seen before, 
and stood behind me as I was pray- 
ing, and heard me praying and con- 
fessing my sins unto the Lord. 

10 And touching me, she said; Leave 
off praying now only for thy sins; 
pray also for righteousness, that 
thou mayest receive a part of it in 
thy house. 

11 And she lifted me up from the 
place, and took me by the hand, and 
brought me to the seat; and said to 
the young men, go, and build. 

12 As soon as they were departed, 
and we were alone, she said unto me; 
sit here. I answered her; Lady, let 
those who are elder sit first. She 
replied, Sit down as I bid you. 

13 And when I would have sat on 
the right side, she suffered me not, 
but made a sign to me with her hand, 
that I should sit on the left. 

14 As I was therefore musing, and 
full of sorrow, that she would not 
suffer me to sit on the right side, she 

said unto me, Hermas, why art thou 

15 The place which is on the right 
hand is theirs who have already at- 
tained unto God, and have suffered 
for his name-sake. But there is yet a 
great deal remaining unto thee, be- 
fore thou canst sit with them. 

16 But continue as thou doest, in 
thy sincerity, and thou shalt sit with 
them; as all others shall, who do 
their works, and shall bear what they 
have borne. 

17 I said to her; Lady, I would know 
what it is that they have suffered? 
Hear then, said she: wild beasts, 
scourgings, imprisonments, and 
crosses for his name-sake. 

18 For this cause the right hand of 
holiness belongs to them, and to all 
others as many as shall suffer for the 
name of God; but the left belongs to 
the rest. 

19 Howbeit the gifts and the prom- 
ises belong to both, to them on the 
right, and to those on the left hand; 
only that sitting on the right hand 
they have some glory above the oth- 

20 But thou art desirous to sit on 
the right hand with them, and yet thy 
defects are many. But thou shalt be 
purged from thy defects, as also all 
who doubt not shall be cleansed 
from all the sins which they have 
committed unto this day. 

21 And when she had said this she 
would have departed. 

22 Wherefore, falling down before 
her feet, I began to entreat her, for 
the Lord's sake, that she would show 
me the vision which she had prom- 

23 Then she again took me by the 
hand, and lifted me up, and made me 
sit upon the seat at the left side; and 
holding up a certain bright wand, 


H E R M A S 

said unto me, Seest thou that great 
thing? I replied, Lady, I see nothing. 

24 She answered, Dost thou not see 
over against thee a great tower, 
which is built upon the water with 
bright square stones? 

25 For the tower was built upon a 
square by these six young men that 
came with her. 

26 But many thousand of other men 
brought stones; some drew them out 
of the deep, others carried them 
from the ground, and gave them to 
the six young men; and they took 
them and built. 

27 As for those stones which were 
drawn out of the deep, they put 
them all into the building; for they 
were polished, and their squares ex- 
actly answered one another, and so 
one was joined in such wise to the 
other, that there was no space to be 
seen where they joined, insomuch 
that the whole tower appeared to be 
built as it were of one stone. 

28 But as for the other stones that 
were taken off from the ground, 
some of them they rejected, others 
they fitted into the building. 

29 As for those which were rejected, 
some they cut out, and cast them at a 
distance from the tower; but many 
others of them lay round about the 
tower, which they made no use of in 
the building. 

30 For some of these were rough, 
others had clefts in them, others 
were white and round, not proper 
for the building of the tower. 

31 But I saw the other stones cast 
afar off from the tower, and falling 
into the high-way, and yet not con- 
tinuing in the way, but were rolled 
from the way into a desert place. 

32 Others I saw falling into the fire 
and burning; others fell near the wa- 
ter, yet could not roll themselves 

into it, though very desirous to fall 
into the water. 

33 And when she had showed me 
these things she would have depar- 
ted; but I said to her, Lady, what 
doth it profit me to see these things, 
and not understand what they mean? 

34 She answered and said unto me; 
You are very cunning, in that you are 
desirous to know those things which 
relate to the tower. Yea, said I, lady, 
that I may declare them unto the 
brethren, and they may rejoice, and 
hearing these things may glorify God 
with great glory. 

35 Then she said, Many indeed shall 
hear them, and when they shall have 
heard them, some shall rejoice, and 
others weep. And yet even these, if 
they shall repent, shall rejoice too. 

36 Hear therefore what I shall say 
concerning the parable of the tower, 
and after this be no longer impor- 
tunate with me about the revelation. 

37 For these revelations have an 
end, seeing they are fulfilled. But 
thou dost not leave off to desire rev- 
elations, for thou art very urgent. 

38 As for the tower which thou 
seest built, it is myself, namely, the 
church, which have appeared to thee 
both now and heretofore. Wherefore 
ask what thou wilt concerning the 
tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, 
that thou mayest rejoice with the 

39 I said unto her, Lady, because 
thou hast thought me once worthy to 
receive from thee the revelation of 
all these things, declare them unto 

40 She answered me, Whatsoever is 
fit to be revealed unto thee shall be 
revealed: only yet thy heart be with 
the Lord, and doubt not, whatsoever 
thou shalt see. 

41 I asked her, Lady, why is the 
tower built upon the water? She 


H E R M A S 

replied, I said before to thee that 
thou wert very wise to inquire dili- 
gently concerning the building, 
therefore thou shalt find the truth. 

42 Hear therefore why the tower is 
built upon the water: because your 
life is and shall be saved by water. 
For it is founded by the word of the 
almighty and honourable name, and 
is supported by the invisible power 
and virtue of God. 

43 And I answering, said unto her, 
These things are very admirable; but, 
lady, who are those six young men 
that build? 

44 They are, said she, the angels of 
God, who were first appointed, and 
to whom the Lord has delivered all 
his creatures, to frame and build 
them up, and to rule over them. For 
by these the building of the tower 
shall be finished. 

45 And who are the rest who bring 
them stones? 

46 They also are the holy angels of 
the Lord; but the others are more ex- 
cellent than these. Wherefore when 
the whole building of the tower shall 
be finished, they shall all feast to- 
gether beside the tower, and shall 
glorify God, because the structure 
of the tower is finished. 

47 I asked her, saying, I would know 
the condition of the stones, and 
what the meaning of them is? 

48 She answering, said unto me, Art 
thou better than all others that this 
should be revealed unto thee? For 
others are both before thee and bet- 
ter than thou art, to whom these vis- 
ions should be made manifest. 

49 Nevertheless, that the name of 
God may be glorified, it has been 
shown and shall be revealed unto 
thee, for the sake of those who are 
doubtful, and think in their hearts 
whether these things are so or not. 

50 Tell them that all these things 
are true, and that there is nothing in 
them that is not true but all are firm 
and truly established. 

51 Hear now then concerning the 
stones that are in the building. 

52 The square and white stones 
which agree exactly in their joints, 
are the apostles, and bishops, and 
doctors, and ministers, who through 
the mercy of God have come in, and 
governed, and taught and ministered 
holily and modestly to the elect of 
God, both they that have fallen 
asleep, and which yet remain; and 
have always agreed with them, and 
have had peace within themselves, 
and have heard each other. 

53 For which cause their joints ex- 
actly meet together in the building 
of the tower. 

54 They which are drawn out of the 
deep and put into the building, and 
whose joints agree with the other 
stones which are already built, are 
those which are already fallen asleep, 
and have suffered for the sake of the 
Lord's name. 

55 And what are the other stones, 
lady, that are brought from the 
earth? I would know what are they. 

56 She answered, They which lie 
upon the ground and are not pol- 
ished, are those which God has ap- 
proved, because they have walked in 
I the law of the Lord, and directed 
their ways in his commandments. 

57 They which are brought and put 
in the building of the tower, are the 
young in faith and the faithful. And 
these are admonished by the angels 
to do well because iniquity is not 
found in them. 

58 But who are those whom they re- 
jected, and laid beside the tower? 

59 They are such as have sinned and 
are willing to repent; for which cause 
they are not cast far from the tower, 


H E R M A S 

because they will be useful for the 
building, if they shall repent. 

60 They therefore that are yet to re- 
pent, if they repent they shall be- 
come strong in the faith; that is, if 
they repent now, whilst the tower is 
building. For if the building shall be 
finished there will then be no place 
for them to be put in, but they shall 
be rejected; for he only has this priv- 
ilege who shall now be put into the 

61 But would you know who they 
are that were cut out, and cast afar 
off from the tower? Lady said I, I 
desire it. 

62 They are the children of iniquity, 
who believed only in hypocrisy, and 
departed not from their evil ways; 
for this cause they shall not be 
saved, because they are not of any 
use in the building by reason of 
their sins. 

63 Wherefore they are cut out, and 
cast afar off, because of the anger 
of the Lord, and because they have 
provoked him to anger against them. 

64 As for the great number of other 
stones which thou hast seen placed 
about the tower, but now put into 
the building; those which are rugged, 
are they who have known the truth, 
but have not continued in it, nor 
been joined to the saints, and there- 
fore are unprofitable. 

65 Those that have clefts in them, 
are they that keep up discord in their 
hearts against each other, and live 
not in peace; that are friendly when 
present with their brethren, but as 
soon as they are departed from one 
another, their wickedness still con- 
tinues in their hearts: these are the 
clefts which are seen in those stones. 

66 Those that are maimed and 
short, are they who have believed in- 
deed, but still are in great measure 

full of wickedness; for this cause 
they are maimed and not whole. 
67 But what are the white and round 
stones, lady, and which are not prop- 
er for the building of the tower? 

68 She answering said unto me: 
How long wilt thou continue foolish 
and without understanding, asking 
everything and discerning nothing? 

69 They are such as have faith in- 
deed, but have withal the riches of 
this present world. When therefore 
any troubles arise, for the sake of 
their riches and traffic, they deny the 

70 I answering, said unto her, When 
therefore will they be profitable to 
the Lord? When their riches shall be 
cut away, says she, in which they take 
delight, then they will be profitable 
unto the Lord for his building. 

71 For as a round stone, unless it be 
cut away and is cast somewhat of its 
bulk, cannot be made square, so they 
who are rich in this world; unless 
their riches be pared off; cannot be 
made profitable unto the Lord. 

72 Learn this from thy own experi- 
ence: when thou wert rich, thou wast 
unprofitable; but now thou art prof- 
itable, and fit for the life which thou 
hast undertaken; for thou also once 
was one of those stones. 

73 As for the rest of the stones 
which thou sawest cast afar off from 
the tower, and running in the way, 
and tumbled out of the way into 
desert places; they are such as have 
believed indeed, but through their 
doubting have forsaken the true way, 
thinking that they could find a bet- 
ter. But they wander and are miser- 
able, going into desolate ways. 

74 Then for those stones which fell 
into the fire and were burnt, they are 
those who have for ever departed 
from the living God; nor doth it ever 
come into their hearts to repent, by 


H E R M A S 

reason of the affection which they 
bear to their lusts and wickedness 
which they commit. 

75 And what are the rest which fell 
by the water, and could not roll into 
the water? 

76 They are such as have heard the 
word, and were willing to be bap- 
tised in the name of the Lord; but 
considering the great holiness which 
the truth requires, have withdrawn 
themselves, an walked again after 
wicked lusts. 

77 Thus she finished the explana- 
tion of the tower. 

78 But I being still urgent, asked 
her, Is there repentance allowed to 
all those stones which are thus cast 
away, and were not suitable to the 
building of the tower; and shall they 
find place in this tower? 

79 They may repent, said she, yet 
they cannot come into this tower; 
but, they shall be placed in a much 
lower rank, and then only after they 
shall have been afflicted and fulfilled 
the days of their sins. 

80 And for this cause they shall be 
removed, because they have received 
the word of righteousness: and then 
they shall be translated from their 
afflictions, if they shall have a true 
sense in their hearts of what they 
have done amiss. 

81 But if they shall not have this 
sense in their hearts, they shall not 
be saved by reason of the hardness 
of their hearts. 

82 When therefore I had done ask- 
ing her concerning all these things, 
she said unto me, Wilt thou see 
something else? And being desirous 
of seeing it, I became very cheerful 
of countenances. 

83 She therefore looking back upon 
me, and smiling a little, said unto 
me, Seest thou seven women about 
the tower? Lady, said I, I see them. 

84 This tower, replied she, is sup- 
ported by them, according to the 
command of the Lord: hear there- 
fore the effects of them. 

85 The first of them, which holds 
fast with her hand, is called Faith; 
The next, which is girt up, and looks 
manly, is named Abstinence: she is 
the daughter of Faith. 

86 Whosoever therefore shall follow 
her shall be happy in all his life, be- 
cause he shall abstain from all evil 
works, believing that if he shall con- 
tain himself from all concupiscence, 
he shall be the heir of eternal life. 
And what, lady, said I, are the other 

87 They are, replied she, the daugh- 
ters of one another. The first of 
them is called Simplicity; the next 
Innocence; the third Modesty; then 
Discipline; and the last of all is 
Charity. When therefore thou shalt 
have fulfilled the works of their 
mother, thou shalt be able to do all 

88 Lady, said I, I would know what 
particular virtue every one of these 

89 Hear then, replied she; they have 
equal virtues, and their virtues are 
knit together, and follow one anoth- 
er as they were born. 

90 From Faith proceeds Abstinence; 
from Abstinence, Simplicity; from 
Simplicity, Innocence; from Inno- 
cence, Modesty; from Modesty, Dis- 
cipline and Charity. Therefore the 
works of these are holy, and chaste, 
and right. 

91 Whoever therefore shall serve 
these, and hold fast to their works, 
he shall have his dwelling in the 
tower with the saints of God. 

92 Then I asked her concerning the 
times, whether the end were now at 


H E R M A S 

93 But she cried out with a loud 
voice, saying, O foolish man! Dost 
thou not see the tower yet a build- 
ing? When therefore the tower shall 
be finished, and built, it shall have 
an end; and indeed it shall soon be 

94 But do not ask me any more 
questions. What has been said may 
suffice thee and all the saints for the 
refreshment of your spirits. For 
these things have not been revealed 
to thee only, but that thou mayest 
make them manifest unto all. 

95 For therefore, O Hermas, after 
three days thou must understand 
these words which I begin to speak 
unto thee, that thou mayest speak 
them in the ears of the saints; that 
when thou shall have heard and done 
them, they may be cleansed from 
their iniquities, and thou together 
with them. 

96 Hear me therefore, O my sons! I 
have bred you up in much simplicity, 
and innocency, and modesty, for the 
love of God, which has dropped 
down upon you in righteousness, 
that you should be sanctified and 
justified from all sin and wickedness; 
but ye will not cease from your evil 

97 Now therefore hearken unto me, 
and have peace one with another, 
and visit one another, and receive 
one another, and do not enjoy the 
creatures of God alone. 

98 Give freely to them that are in 
need. For some by too free feeding 
contract an infirmity in their flesh, 
and do injury to their bodies; whilst 
the flesh of others, who have not 
food, withers away, because they 
want sufficient nourishment, and the 
bodies are consumed. 

99 Wherefore this intemperance is 
hurtful to you, who have, and do not 
contribute to them that want. Pre- 

pare for the judgment that is about 
to come upon you. 

100 Ye that are the more eminent, 
search out them that are hungry, 
whilst the tower is yet unfinished. 
For when the tower shall be finished, 
ye shall be willing to do good, and 
shall not find any place in it. 

101 Beware, therefore, ye that glory 
in your riches, lest perhaps they 
groan who are in want, and their 
sighing come up unto God, and ye 
be shut out with your goods without 
the gate of the tower. 

102 Behold I now warn you who are 
set over the church, and love the 
highest seats, be not ye like unto 
those that work mischief. 

103 And they indeed carry about 
their poison in boxes, but ye contain 
your poison and infection in your 
hearts, and will not purge them, and 
mix your sense with a pure heart, 
that ye might find mercy with the 
Great King. 

104 Take heed, my children, that 
your dissensions deprive you not of 
your lives. How will ye instruct the 
elect of God, when ye yourselves 
want correction? Wherefore admon- 
ish one another, and be at peace 
among yourselves, that I, standing 
before your Father, may give an ac- 
count of you unto the Lord. 

105 And when she had made an end 
of talking with me, the six young 
men that built, came and carried her 
to the tower; and four others took 
up the seat on which she sat, and 
they also went away again to the 
tower. I saw not the faces of these, 
for their backs were towards me. 

106 As she was going away, I asked 
her, that she would reveal to me 
what concerned the three forms, in 
which she had appeared unto me. 

107 But she answering said unto me, 
concerning these things thou must 


H E R M A S 

ask some other, that they may be re- 
vealed unto thee. 

108 Now, brethren, in the first vis- 
ion the last year, she appeared unto 
me exceedingly old, and sitting in a 

109 In another vision, she had in- 
deed a youthful face, but her flesh 
and hair were old; but she talked 
with me standing, and was more 
cheerful than the first time. 

110 In the third vision, she was in 
all respects much younger, and 
comely to the eye; only she had the 
hair of an aged person: yet she 
looked cheerful, and sat upon a seat. 

111 I was therefore very sad con- 
cerning these things, until I might 
understand the vision. 

112 Wherefore I saw the same old 
woman in a vision of the night say- 
ing unto me, All prayer needeth hu- 
miliation. Fast, therefore, and thou 
shalt learn from the Lord that which 
thou dost ask. I fasted therefore one 

113 The same night a young man ap- 
peared to me and said, Why dost 
thou thus often desire Revelations in 
thy prayers? Take heed that by asking 
many things, thou hurt not the body. 
Let these Revelations suffice thee. 

114 Canst thou see more notable 
Revelations than those which thou 
hast already received? 

115 I answered and said unto him, 
Sir, I only ask this one thing upon 
the account of the three figures of 
the old woman that appeared to me, 
that the Revelation may be complete. 

116 He answered me, You are not 
without understanding, but your 
doubts make you so; for as much as 
you have not your heart with the 

117 I replied and said, But we shall 
learn these things more carefully 
from you. 

118 Hear then, says he, concerning 
the figures about which you inquire. 

119 To begin; in the first vision she 
appeared to thee in the shape of an 
old woman sitting in, a chair, be- 
cause your old spirit was decayed, 
and without strength, by reason of 
your infirmities, and the doubtful- 
ness of your heart. 

120 For as they who are old have no 
hope of renewing themselves, nor 
expect any thing but their departure; 
so you being weakened through your 
worldly affairs gave yourself up to 
sloth, and cast not away your soli- 
citude from yourself upon the Lord: 
and your sense was confused, and 
you grew old in your sadness. 

121 But, sir, I would know why she 
sat upon a chair? 

122 He answered, because every one 
that is weak sitteth upon a chair by 
reason of his infirmity, that his 
weakness may be upheld. Behold 
therefore the figure of the first vis- 

123 In the second vision you saw 
her standing, and having a youthful 
face, and more cheerful than her 
former; but her flesh and her hair 
were ancient. Hear, said he, this par- 
able also. 

124 When any one grows old, he 
despairs of himself by reason of his 
infirmity and poverty, and expects 
nothing but the last day of his life. 

125 But on a sudden an inheritance 
is left to him, and he hears of it, and 
rises: and being become cheerful, be 
puts on new strength. And now he 
no longer sits down, but stands, and 
is delivered from his former sorrow; 
and sits not, but acts manfully. 

126 So you, having heard the Revel- 
ation which God revealed unto you, 
because God had compassion upon 
you, and renewed your spirit, both 
laid aside your infirmities, and 


H E R M A S 

strength came to you, and you grew 
strong in the faith; and God, seeing 
your strength, rejoiced. 

127 For this cause he showed you 
the building of the tower, and will 
show other things unto you, if you 
shall have peace with all your heart 
among each other. 

128 But in the third vision you saw 
her yet younger, fair and cheerful, 
and of a serene countenance. 

129 For, as if some good news 
comes to him that is sad, he straight- 
way forgets his sadness, and regards 
nothing else but the good news 
which he has heard; and for the rest 
he is comforted, and his spirit is re- 
newed through the joy which he has 
received even so you have been re- 
freshed in your spirit by seeing these 
good things. 

130 And for that you saw her sitting 
upon a bench, it denotes a strong 
position; because a bench has four 
feet, and stands strongly. And even 
the world itself is upheld by the four 

131 They therefore that repent per- 
fectly, shall be young; and they that 
turn from their sins with their whole 
heart, shall be established. 

132 And now you have the Revela- 
tion fully, ask no more to have any 
thing farther revealed unto you. 

133 But if any thing is to be re- 
vealed, it shall be made manifest 
unto you. 


Of the trial, and tribulation that is 
about to come upon men. 

1 SAW a vision brethren, twenty 
days after the former vision; a rep- 
resentation of the tribulation that is 
at hand. I was walking in the field 

2 Now from the public way to the 
place whither I went is about ten 

furlongs; it is a way very little fre- 

3 And as I was walking alone, I en- 
treated the Lord that he would con- 
firm the Revelations which he had 
shown unto me by his Holy Church. 

4 And would grant repentance to all 
his servants who had been offended, 
that his great and honourable name 
might be glorified, and because he 
thought me worthy to whom he 
might show his wonders, and, that I 
might honour him, and give thanks 
unto him. 

5 And behold somewhat like a voice 
answered me; Doubt not, Hermas. 
Wherefore I began to think, and say 
within myself, why should I doubt, 
seeing I am thus settled by the Lord, 
and have seen such glorious things? 

6 I had gone but a little farther, 
brethren, when behold I saw a dust 
rise up to heaven. I began to say 
within myself, is there a drove of 
cattle coming, that rises such a dust? 

7 It was about a furlong off from 
me. And behold I saw the dust rise 
more and more, insomuch that I 
began to suspect that there was 
somewhat extraordinary in it. 

8 And the sun shone a little; and be- 
hold I saw a great beast, as it were a 
whale; and fiery locusts came out of 
his mouth. The height of the beast 
was about a hundred feet, and he had 
a head like a large earthen vessel. 

9 I began to weep, and to pray unto 
the Lord that he would deliver me 
from it. Then I called to mind the 
word which I had heard; Doubt not, 

10 Wherefore, brethren, putting on 
a divine faith, and remembering who 
it was that had taught me great 
things, I delivered myself bodily 
unto the beast. 


H E R M A S 

11 Now the beast came on in such a 
manner, as if it could at once have 
devoured a city. 

12 I came near unto it, and the beast 
extended its whole bulk upon the 
ground, and put forth nothing but 
its tongue, nor once moved itself till 
I had quite passed by it. 

13 Now the beast had upon its head 
four colours; first black, then a red 
and bloody colour, then a golden, 
and then a white. 

14 After that I had passed by it, and 
was gone forward about thirty feet, 
behold there met me a certain virgin, 
well adorned as if she had been just 
come out of her bride-chamber; all 
in white, having on white shoes, and 
a veil down her face, and covered 
with shining hair. 

15 Now I knew by my former vis- 
ions that it was the church, and 
thereupon grew the more cheerful. 
She saluted me, saying, Hail, O Man! 
I returned the salutation, saying, 
Lady, Hail! 

16 She answering said unto me, Did 
nothing meet you, O man! I replied, 
Lady, there met me such a beast, as 
seemed able to devour a whole 
people; but by the power of God, 
and through his singular mercy, I es- 
caped it. 

17 Thou didst escape it well, said 
she, because thou didst cast thy 
whole care upon God, and opened 
thy heart unto him, believing that 
thou couldst be safe by no other 
than by his great and honourable 

18 For this cause the Lord sent his 
angel, who is over the beast, whose 
name is Hegrin, and stopped his 
mouth, that he should not devour 
thee, Thou hast escaped a great trial 
through thy faith, and because thou 
didst not doubt for such a terrible 

19 Go, therefore, and relate to the 
elect of God the great things that he 
hath done for thee. And thou shalt 
say unto them, that this beast is the 
figure of the trial that is about to 

20 If, therefore, ye shall have pre- 
pared yourselves, ye may escape it, if 
your hearts be pure and without 
spot; and if ye shall serve God all 
the rest of your days without com- 

21 Cast all your care upon the Lord, 
and he will direct them. Believe in 
God, ye doubtful, because he can do 
all things; he can both turn away his 
wrath from you, and send you help 
and security. 

22 Woe to the doubtful, to those 
who shall hear these words, and shall 
despise them: it had been better for 
them that they had not been born. 

23 Then I asked her concerning the 
four colours which the beast had 
upon its head. But she answered me 
saying; Again thou art curious in that 
thou asketh concerning these things. 
But I said to her, Lady, chew me 
what they are? 

24 Hear, said she; The black which 
thou sawest denotes the world in 
which you dwell. The fiery and 
bloody colour signifies that this age 
must be destroyed by fire and blood. 

25 The golden part are ye, who have 
escaped out of it; for as gold is tried 
by the fire, and is made profitable, 
so are ye also in like manner tried 
who dwell among the men of this 

26 They therefore, that shall endure 
to the end, and be proved by them, 
shall be purged. And as gold, by this 
trial, is cleansed and loses its dross, 
so shall ye also cast away all sorrow 
and trouble, and be made pure for 
the building of the tower. 


H E R M A S 

27 But the white colour denotes the 
time of the world which is to come, 
in which the elect of God shall 
dwell: because the elect of God shall 
be pure and without spot until life 

28 Wherefore do not thou cease to 
speak these thing in the ears of the 
saints. Here ye have the figure of the 
great tribulation that is about to 
come; which, if you please, shall be 
nothing to you. 

29 When she had spoken thus much, 
she departed; but I saw not whither 
she went. But suddenly I heard a 
noise, and I turned back, being 
afraid, for I thought that the beast 
was coming toward me. 


WHEN I had prayed at home, and 
was sat down upon the bed, a certain 
man came in to me with a reverend 
look, in the habit of a Shepherd, 
clothed with a white cloak, having 
his bag upon his back, and his staff 
in his hand, and saluted me. 

2 I returned his salutation, and im- 
mediately he sat down by me, and 
said unto me, I am sent by that ven- 
erable messenger, that I should dwell 
with thee all the remaining days of 
thy life. 

3 But I thought that he was come to 
try me, and said unto him, Who are 
you? For I know to whom I am com- 
mitted. He said unto me, Do you not 
know me? I answered no. I am, said 
he, that shepherd to whose care you 
are delivered. 

4 Whilst he was yet speaking, his 
shape was changed; and when I knew 
that it was he to whom I was com- 
mitted, I was ashamed, and a sudden 

fear came upon me, and I was utterly 
overcome with sadness, because I 
had spoken so foolishly unto him. 

5 But he said unto me, Be not 
ashamed, but receive strength in thy 
mind, through the commands which 
I am about to deliver unto thee. For, 
said he, I am sent to show unto thee 
all those things again, which thou 
hast seen before, but especially such 
of them as may be of most use unto 

6 And first of all write my Com- 
mands and Similitudes, the rest thou 
shall so write as I shall show unto 
thee. But I therefore bid thee first 
of all write my Commands and 
Similitudes, that by often reading of 
them thou mayest the more easily 
keep them in memory. 

7 Whereupon I wrote his Commands 
and Similitudes, as he bade me. 

8 Which things if when you have 
heard, ye shall observe to do them, 
and shall walk according to them, 
and exercise yourselves in them with 
a pure mind, ye shall receive from 
the Lord those things which he has 
promised unto you. 

9 But if having heard them ye shall 
not repent, but shall still go on to 
add to your sins, ye shall be pun- 
ished by him. 

10 All these things that Shepherd, 
the angel of repentance, commanded 
me to write. 

Of believing in one God. 
FIRST of all believe that there is 
one God who created and brought all 
things out of nothing into existence. 

2 He comprehends all things, and is 
only INFINITE, not to be compre- 
hended by any. 

3 Who can neither be defined by 
any words, nor conceived by the 


H E R M A S 

4 Therefore believe in him, and fear 
him; and fearing him abstain from all 

5 Keep these things, and cast all lust 
and iniquity far from thee, and put 
on righteousness, and thou shalt live 
to God, if thou shalt keep his com- 

That we must avoid detraction, and do 
our alms-deeds with simplicity. 
HE said unto me, Be innocent and 
without disguise; so shalt thou be 
like an infant who knows no malice 
which destroys the life of man. 

2 Especially see that thou speak evil 
of none, nor willingly hear any one 
speak evil of others. 

3 For if thou observest not this, 
thou also who hearest shall be par- 
taker of the sin of him that speaketh 
evil, by believing the slander, and 
thou also shalt have sin, because 
thou believedst him that spoke evil 
of thy brother. 

4 Detraction is a pernicious thing; 
an inconstant, evil spirit; that never 
continues in peace, but is always in 
discord. Wherefore refrain thyself 
from it, and keep peace ever more 
with thy brother. 

5 Put on an holy constancy, in 
which there are no sins, but all is full 
of joy; and do good of thy labours. 

6 Give without distinction to all 
that are in want, not doubting to 
whom thou givest. 

7 But give to all, for God will have 
us give to all, of all his own gifts. 
They therefore that receive shall give 
an account to God, both wherefore 
they received and for what end. 

8 And they that receive without real 
need, shall give an account for it; 
but he that gives shall be innocent. 

9 For he has fulfilled his duty as he 
received it from God; not making 
any choice to whom he should give, 
and to whom not. And this service 
he did with simplicity and to the 
glory of God. 

10 Keep therefore this command ac- 
cording as I have delivered it into 
thee: that thy repentance nay be 
found to be sincere, and that good 
may come to thy house; and have a 
pure heart. 


Of avoiding lying, and the repentance of 
Hermas for his dissimulation. 

MOREOVER he said unto me love 
truth; and let all the speech be true 
which proceeds out of thy mouth. 

2 That the spirit which the Lord 
hath given to dwell in thy flesh may 
be found true towards all men; and 
the Lord be glorified, who hath giv- 
en such a spirit unto thee: because 
God is true in all his words, and in 
him there is no lie. 

3 They therefore that lie, deny the 
Lord, and become robbers of the 
Lord, not rendering to God what 
they received from him. 

4 For they received the spirit free 
from lying: If therefore they make 
that a liar, they defile what was com- 
mitted to them by the Lord, and be- 
come deceivers. 

5 When I heard this, I wept bitterly; 
and when he saw me weeping, he 
said unto me, Why weepest thou? 
And I said, Because, sir, I doubt 
whether I can be saved. 

6 He asked me, Wherefore? I 
replied, Because, sir, I never spake a 
true word in my life; but always lived 
in dissimulation, and affirmed a lie 
for truth to all men; and no man 
contradicted me, but all gave credit 
to my words. How then can I live, 
seeing I have done in this manner? 


H E R M A S 

7 And he said unto me, Thou 
thinkest well and truly; for thou 
oughtest, as the servant of God, to 
have walked in the truth, and not 
have joined an evil conscience with 
the spirit of truth, nor have grieved 
the holy and true Spirit of God. 

8 And I replied unto him, Sir, I nev- 
er before hearkened so diligently to 
these things. He answered, Now thou 
hearest them Take care from hence- 
forth, that even those things which 
thou hast formerly spoken falsely for 
the sake of thy business, may, by thy 
present truth receive pardon. 

9 For even those things may be for- 
given, if for the time to come thou 
shalt speak the truth; and by so do- 
ing thou mayest attain unto life. 

10 And whosoever shall hearken 
unto this command, and do it, and 
shall depart from all lying, he shall 
live unto God. 


Of putting away one 's wife for adultery. 

FURTHERMORE, said he, I com- 
mand thee, that thou keep thyself 
chaste; and that thou suffer not any 
thought of any other marriage, or of 
fornication, to enter into thy heart; 
for such a thought produces great 

2 But be thou at all times mindful 
of the Lord, and thou shalt never 
sin. For if such an evil thought 
should arise in thy heart, then thou 
shall be guilty of a great sin; and 
they who do such things, follow the 
way of death. 

3 Look therefore to thyself, and 
keep thyself from such a thought; 
for where chastity remains in the 
heart of a righteous man, there an 
evil thought ought never to arise. 

4 And I said unto him, Sir, suffer 
me to speak a little to you. He bade 
me say on. And I answered, Sir, if a 

man that is faithful in the Lord shall 
have a wife, and shall catch her in 
adultery; doth a man sin that contin- 
ues to live still with her? 

5 And he said unto me, As long as 
he is ignorant of her sin, he commits 
no fault in living with her; but if a 
man shall know his wife to, have of- 
fended, and she shall not repent of 
her sin, but go on still in her fornic- 
ation, and a man shall continue nev- 
ertheless to live with her, he shall 
become guilty of her sin, and par- 
take with her in her adultery. 

6 And I said unto him, What there- 
fore is to be done, if the woman 
continues on in her sin? He 
answered, Let her husband put her 
away, and let him continue by him- 
self; but if he shall put away his wife 
and marry another, he also doth 
commit adultery. 

7 And I said, What, if the woman 
that is so put away, should repent, 
and be willing to return to her hus- 
band, shall she not be received by 
him? He said unto me, Yes; and if 
her husband shall not receive her, he 
will sin, and commit a great offence 
against himself; for he ought to re- 
ceive the offender, if she repents: 
only not often. 

8 For, to the servants of God, there 
is but one repentance; and for this 
cause a man that putteth away his 
wife ought not to take another, be- 
cause she may repent. 

9 This act is alike both in the man 
and in the woman. Now they commit 
adultery, not only who pollute their 
flesh, but who also make an image. 
If therefore a woman perseveres in 
any thing of this kind, and repents 
not, depart from her; and live not 
with her, otherwise thou also shalt 
be partaker of her sin. 

10 But it is therefore commanded 
that both the man and the woman 


H E R M A S 

should remain unmarried, because 
such persons may repent. 

11 Nor do I in this administer any 
occasion for the doing of these 
things; but rather that whoso has of- 
fended, should not offend any more. 

12 But for their former sins, God 
who has the power of healing will 
give a remedy; for he has the power 
of all things. 

13 I asked him again, and said, See- 
ing the Lord hath thought me worthy 
that thou shouldest dwell with me 
continually, speak a few words unto 
me, because I understand nothing, 
and my heart is hardened through my 
former conversation; and open my 
understanding because I am very 
dull, and apprehend nothing at all. 

14 And he answering said unto me, I 
am the minister of repentance, and 
give understanding to all that repent. 
Does it not seem to thee to be a very 
wise thing to repent? Because he that 
does so gets great understanding. 

15 For he is sensible that he hath 
sinned and done wickedly in the 
sight of the Lord, and he remembers 
within himself that he has offended, 
and repents and does no more 
wickedly, but does that which is 
good, and humbles his soul and af- 
flicts it, because he has offended. 
You see therefore that repentance is 
great wisdom. 

16 And I said unto him, For this 
cause, sir, I inquire diligently into all 
things, because I am a sinner, that I 
may know what I must do that I may 
live; because my sins are many. 

17 And he said unto me, Thou shalt 
live if thou shalt keep these my com- 
mandments. And whosoever shall 
hear and do these commands shall 
live unto God. 

18 And I said unto him, I have even 
now heard from certain teachers, 
that there is no other repentance be- 

side that of baptism, when we go 
down into the water, and receive the 
forgiveness of our sins; and that 
after that, we must sin no more, but 
live in purity. 

19 And he said unto me, Thou hast 
been rightly informed. Never- the- 
less seeing now thou inquirest dili- 
gently into all things, I will manifest 
this also unto thee; yet not so as to 
give any occasion of sinning, either 
to those who shall hereafter believe, 
or to those who have already be- 
lieved in the Lord. 

20 For neither they who have newly 
believed, or shall hereafter believe, 
have any repentance of sins, but for- 
giveness of them. 

21 But as to those who have been 
called to the faith, and since that are 
fallen into any gross sin, the Lord 
hath appointed repentance, because 
God knoweth the thoughts of all 
men's hearts, and their infirmities, 
and the manifold wickedness of the 
devil, who is always contriving some- 
thing against the servants of God, 
and maliciously lays snares for them. 

22 Therefore our merciful Lord had 
compassion towards his creature, and 
appointed that repentance, and gave 
unto me the power of it. And there- 
fore I say unto thee, if any one after 
that great and holy calling shall be 
tempted by the devil and sin, he has 
one repentance. But if he shall often 
sin and repent, it shall not profit 
such a one; for he shall hardly live 
unto God. 

23 And I said, Sir, I am restored 
again to life since I have thus dili- 
gently hearkened to these commands. 
For I perceive that if I shall not 
hereafter add any more of my sins, I 
shall be saved. 

24 And he said, Thou shalt be 
saved: and so shall all others, as 


H E R M A S 

many as shall observe these com- 

25 And again I said unto him, Sir, 
seeing thou hearest me patiently, 
show me yet one thing more. Tell 
me, saith he, what it is. 

26 And I said, If a husband or a 
wife die, and the party which sur- 
vives marry again, does he sin in so 
doing? He that marries says he, sins 
not: howbeit, if he shall remain 
single, he shall thereby gain to him- 
self great honour before the Lord. 

27 Keep therefore thy chastity and 
modesty, and thou shalt live unto 
God. Observe from henceforth those 
things which I speak with thee, and 
command thee to observe, from the 
time that I have been delivered unto 
thee, and dwell in thy house. 

28 So shall thy former sins be for- 
given, if thou shalt keep these my 
commandments. And in like manner 
shall all others be forgiven, who 
shall observe these my command- 


Of the sadness of the heart, and of pa- 

BE patient, says he, and long- suf- 
fering; so shalt thou have dominion 
over all wicked works, and shall fulfil 
all righteousness. 

2 For if thou shalt be patient, the 
Holy Spirit which dwelleth in thee 
shall be pure, and not be darkened 
by any evil spirit; but being full of 
joy shall be enlarged, and feast in the 
body in which it dwells, and serve 
the Lord with joy, and in great peace. 

3 But if any anger shall overtake 
thee, presently the Holy Spirit which 
is in thee will be straightened and 
seek to depart from thee. 

4 For he is choked by the evil spirit, 
and has not the liberty of serving 
the Lord as he would; for he is 

grieved by anger. When, therefore, 
both these spirits dwell together, it 
is destructive to a man. 

5 As if one should take a little 
wormwood, and put it into a vessel 
of honey, the whole honey would be 
spoiled; and a great quantity of 
honey is corrupted by a very little 
wormwood, and loses the sweetness 
of honey, and is no longer accept- 
able to its Lord because the whole 
honey is made bitter, and loses its 

6 But if no wormwood be put into 
the honey, it is sweet and profitable 
to its Lord. Thus is forbearance 
sweeter than honey, and profitable to 
the Lord who dwelleth in it. 

7 But anger is unprofitable. If 
therefore anger shall be mixed with 
forbearance, the soul is distressed, 
and its prayer is not profitable with 

8 And I said unto him, Sir, I would 
know the sinfulness of anger, that I 
may keep myself from it. And he 
said unto me, Thou shall know it; 
and if thou shalt not keep thyself 
from it, thou shalt lose thy hope 
with all thy house. Wherefore depart 
from it. 

9 For I the messenger of righteous- 
ness am with thee, and all that de- 
part from it: as many as shall repent 
with all their hearts, shall live unto 
God; and I will be with them, and 
will keep them all. 

10 For all such as have repented 
have been justified by the most holy 
messenger, who is a minister of sal- 

11 And now, says he, hear the 
wickedness of anger; how evil and 
hurtful is is, and how it overthrows 
the servants of God; for it cannot 
hurt those that are full of faith be- 
cause the power of God is with 
them; but it overthrows the doubt- 


H E R M A S 

ful, and those that are destitute of 

12 For as often as it sees such men, 
it casts itself into their hearts; and 
so a man or woman is in bitterness 
for nothing: for the things of life, or 
for sustenance, or for a vain word, if 
any should chance to fall in; or by 
reason of any friend, or for a debt, 
or for any other superfluous things 
of the like nature. 

13 For these things are foolish, and 
superfluous, and vain to the servants 
of God. But equanimity is strong, 
and forcible; and of great power, 
and sitteth in great enlargement; is 
cheerful, rejoicing in peace; and 
glorifying God at all times I with 

14 And this long-suffering dwells 
with those that are full of faith. But 
anger is foolish, and light, and 
empty. Now bitterness is bred 
through folly; by bitterness, anger; 
by anger, fury; and this fury arising 
from so many evil principles, wor- 
keth a great and incurable sin. 

15 For when all these things, are in 
the same man in which the Holy 
Spirit dwells, the vessel cannot con- 
tain them, but runs over: and be- 
cause the Spirit being tender cannot 
tarry with the evil one; it departs 
and dwells with him that is meek. 

16 When, therefore, it is departed 
from the man in whom it dwelt, that 
man becomes destitute of the Holy 
Spirit, and is afterwards filled with 
wicked spirits, and is blinded with 
evil thoughts. Thus doth it happen 
to all angry men. 

17 Wherefore depart then from an- 
ger, and put on equanimity, and res- 
ist: wrath; so then shalt be found 
with modesty and chastity by God. 
Take good heed, therefore, that thou 
neglect not this commandment. 

18. For if thou shalt obey this com- 
mand, then thou shalt also be able to 
observe the other commandments 
which I shall command thee. 

19 Wherefore strengthen thyself 
now in these commands, that then 
mayest live unto God. And whoso- 
ever shall observe these command- 
ments shall live unto God. 

That every man has two angels and of 
the suggestions of both. 

1 COMMANDED thee, said he, in 
my first commandments, that thou 
shouldst keep faith and fear, and re- 
pentance. Yes, sir, said I. 

2 He continued. But now I will shew 
thee the virtues of these commands, 
that then mayest know their effects; 
how they are prescribed alike to the 
just and unjust. 

3 Do thou therefore believe the 
righteous, but give no credit to the 
unrighteous. For righteousness keep- 
eth the right way, but unrighteous- 
ness the wicked way. 

4 Do thou therefore keep the right 
way, and leave that which is evil. For 
the evil way has not a good end, but 
hath many stumbling- blocks; it is 
rugged and full of thorns, and leads 
to destruction; and it is hurtful to all 
such as walk in it. 

5 But they who go in the right way 
walk with evenness, and without of- 
fence; because it is not rough nor 

6 Thou seest therefore how it is 
best to walk in this way. Thou shalt 
therefore go, says he, and all others, 
as many as believe in God with all 
their heart, shall go through it. 

7 And now, says he, I understand 
first of all what belongs to faith. 
There are two angels with man; one 
of righteousness, the other of 


H E R M A S 

8 And I said unto him, Sir, how 
shall I know that there are two such 
angels with man? Hear, says he, and 

9 The angel of righteousness, is 
mild and modest, and gentle, and 
quiet. When, therefore, he gets into 
thy heart, immediately he talks with 
thee of righteousness, of modesty, 
of chastity, of bountifulness, of for- 
giveness, of charity, and piety. 

10 When all these things come into 
thy heart, know then that the angel 
of righteousness is with thee. 
Wherefore hearken to this angel and 
to his works. 

11 Learn also the works of the angel 
of iniquity. He is first of all bitter, 
and angry, and foolish; and his works 
are pernicious, and overthrow the 
servants of God. When therefore 
these things come into thine heart; 
thou shalt know by his works, that 
this is the angel of iniquity. 

12 And I said unto him, Sir, how 
shall I understand these things? 
Hear, says he, and understand; When 
anger overtakes thee, or bitterness, 
know that he is in thee: 

13 As also, when the desire of many 
things, and of the best meats, and of 
drunkenness; when the love of what 
belongs to others, pride, and much 
speaking, and ambition; and the like 
things, come upon thee. 

14 When therefore these things arise 
in thine heart, know that the angel 
of iniquity is with thee. Seeing 
therefore thou knowest his works, 
depart from them all, and give no 
credit to him: because his works are 
evil, and become not the servants of 

15 Here therefore thou hast the 
works of both these angels. Under- 
stand now and believe the angel of 
righteousness, because his instruc- 
tion is good. 

16 For let a man be never so happy; 
yet if the thoughts of the other an- 
gel arise in his heart, that man or 
woman must needs sin. 

17 But let man or woman be never 
so wicked, if the works of the angel 
of righteousness come into their 
hearts, that man or woman must 
needs do some good. 

18 Thou seest therefore how it is 
good to follow the angel of right- 
eousness. If therefore thou shall fol- 
low him, and submit to his works, 
thou shalt live unto God. And as 
many as shall submit to his work 
shall live also unto God. 


That we must fear God but not the Dev- 

FEAR God, says he, and keep his 
commandments. For if thou keepest 
his commandments thou shalt be 
powerful in every work, and all thy 
works shall be excellent. For by fear- 
ing God, thou shalt do everything 

2 This is that tear with which thou 
must be affected that thou mayest be 
saved. But fear not the Devil: for if 
thou fearest the Lord, thou shalt 
have dominion over him; because 
there is no power in him. 

3 Now if there be no power in him, 
then neither is he to be feared: for 
every one that has power, is to be 
feared. But he that has no power is 
despised by every one. 

4 Fear the works of the Devil, be- 
cause they are evil. For by fearing 
the Lord, thou wilt fear and do not 
the works of the Devil, but keep 
thyself from them. 

5 There is therefore a twofold fear; 
if thou wilt not do evil, fear the 
Lord and thou shalt not do it. But if 
thou wilt do good, the fear of the 


H E R M A S 

Lord is strong, and great and glori- 

6 Wherefore, fear God and thou 
shalt live: and whosoever shall fear 
him, and keep his commandments, 
their life is with the Lord. But they 
who keep them not, neither is there 
life in them. 


That we must flee from evil, and do good 

1 HAVE told thee, said he, that 
there are two kinds of creatures of 
the Lord, and that there is a two-fold 
abstinence. From some things there- 
fore thou must abstain, and from 
others not. 

2 I answered, Declare to me, sir, 
from what I must abstain, and from 
what not. Hearken, said he, Keep 
thyself from evil, and do it not; yet 
abstain not from good, but do it. For 
if thou shalt abstain from what is 
good, and not do it, thou shalt sin. 
Abstain therefore from all evil, and 
thou shalt know all righteousness. 

3 I said, What evil things are they 
from which I must abstain? Hearken, 
said he; from adultery, from drunk- 
enness, from riots, from excess of 
eating, from daintiness and dishon- 
esty, from pride, from fraud, from 
lying, from detraction, from hypo- 
crisy, from remembrance of injuries, 
and from all evil speaking. 

4 For these are the works of 
iniquity, from which the servant of 
God must abstain. For he that can- 
not keep himself from these things, 
cannot live unto God. 
5 But hear, said he, what follows of 
these kind of things: for indeed 
many more there are from which the 
servant of God must abstain. From 
theft, and cheating; from false wit- 
ness, from covetousness, from boast- 

ing, and all other things of the like 

6 Do these things seem to thee to 
be evil or not? Indeed they are very 
evil to the servants of God, Where- 
fore the servant of God must abstain 
from all these works. 

7 Keep thyself therefore from them, 
that thou mayest live unto God, and 
be written among those that abstain 
from them. And thus have I shown 
thee what things thou must avoid: 
now learn from what thou must not 

8 Abstain not from any good works, 
but do them. Hear, said he, what the 
virtue of those good works is which 
thou must do, that thou mayest be 
saved. The first of all is faith; the 
fear of the Lord; charity; concord; 
equity; truth; patience; chastity. 

9 There is nothing better than these 
things in the life of men; who shall 
keep and do these things in their 
life. Hear next what follow these. 

10 To minister to the widows; not to 
despise the fatherless and poor; to 
redeem the servants of God from 
necessity; to be hospitable (for in 
hospitality there is sometimes great 
fruit); not to be contentious, but be 

11 To be humble above all men; to 
reverence the aged; to labour to be 
righteous; to respect the brother- 
hood; to bear affronts; to be long- 
suffering; not to cast away those that 
have fallen from the faith, but to 
convert them, and make them be of 
good cheer: to admonish sinners; not 
to oppress those that are our debt- 
ors; and all other things of a like 

12 Do these things seem to thee to 
be good or not? And I said, What 
can be better than these words? Live 
then, said he, in these command- 
ments, and do not depart from them. 


H E R M A S 

For if thou shalt keep all these com- 
mandments, thou shalt live unto 
God. And all they that shall keep 
these commandments shall live unto 


That we must ask of God daily; and 
without doubting. 

AGAIN he said unto me; remove 
from thee all doubting; and question 
nothing at all when thou askest any 
thing of the Lord; saying within thy- 
self, how shall I be able to ask any 
thing of the Lord and receive it, see- 
ing I have so greatly sinned against 

2 Do not think thus, but turn unto 
the Lord with all thy heart, and ask 
of him without doubting, and thou 
shalt know the mercy of the Lord; 
bow that he will not forsake thee, 
but will fulfil the request of thy 

3 For God is not as men, mindful of 
the injuries he has received; but he 
forgets injuries, and has compassion 
upon his creature. 

4 Wherefore purify thy heart from 
all the vices of this present world; 
and observe the commands I have 
before delivered unto thee from 
God; and thon shall receive whatso- 
ever good things thou shalt ask, and 
nothing shall be wanting unto thee 
of all thy petitions; if thou shalt ask 
of the Lord without doubting. 

5 But they that are not such, shall 
obtain none of those things which 
they ask. For they that are full of 
faith, ask all things with confidence, 
and receive from the Lord, because 
they ask without doubting. But he 
that doubts, shall hardly live unto 
God, except he repent. 

6 Wherefore purify thy heart from 
doubting, and put on faith, and trust 
in God, and thou shall receive all 

that thou shalt ask. But if thou 
shouldest chance to ask something, 
and not immediately receive it, yet 
do not therefore doubt, because thou 
hast not presently received the peti- 
tion of thy soul. 

7 For it may be thou shalt not 
presently receive it for thy trial, or 
else for some sin which thou know- 
est not. But do not thou leave off to 
ask, and then thou shalt receive. Else 
if thou shalt cease to ask, thou must 
complain of thyself, and not of God, 
that he has not given unto thee what 
thou didst desire. 

8 Consider therefore this doubting 
how cruel and pernicious it is; and 
how it utterly roots out many from 
the faith, who were very faithful and 
firm. For this doubting is the daugh- 
ter of the Devil, and deals very 
wickedly with the servants of God. 

9 Despise it therefore, and thou 
shalt rule over it on every occasion. 
Put on a firm and powerful faith: for 
faith promises all things and perfects 
all things. But doubting will not be- 
lieve that it shall obtain any thing by 
all that it can do. 

10. Thou seest therefore, says he, 
how faith cometh from above from 
God; and hath great power. But 
doubting is an earthly spirit, and 
proceedeth from the Devil, and has 
no strength. 

11 Do thou therefore keep the vir- 
tue of faith, and depart from doubt- 
ing, in which is no virtue, and thou 
shalt live unto God. And all shall 
live unto God, as many as do these 


Of the sadness of the heart; and that we 
must take, heed not to grieve the spirit of 
God that is in us. 

PUT all sadness far from thee; for it 
is the sister of doubting and of an- 


H E R M A S 

ger. How, sir, said I is it the sister of 
these? For sadness, and anger, and 
doubting, seem to me to be very dif- 
ferent from one another. 

2 And he answered: Art thou 
without sense that thou dost not un- 
derstand it? For sadness is the most 
mischievous of all spirits, and the 
worst to the servants of God: It des- 
troys the spirits of all men, and tor- 
ments the Holy Spirit, and it saves 

3 Sir, said I, I am very foolish, and 
understand not these things. I can- 
not apprehend how it can torment, 
and yet save. Hear, said he, and un- 
derstand. They who never sought out 
the truth, nor inquired concerning 
the majesty of God, but only be- 
lieved, are involved in the affairs of 
the heathen. 

4 And there is another lying prophet 
that destroys the minds of the ser- 
vants of God; that is of those that 
are doubtful, not of those that fully 
trust in the Lord. Now those doubt- 
ful persons come to him, as to a di- 
vine spirit, and inquire of him what 
shall befall them. 

5 And this lying prophet, having no 
power in him of the Divine Spirit, 
answers them according to their de- 
mands, and fills their souls with 
promises according as they desire. 
Howbeit that prophet is vain, and 
answers vain things to those who are 
themselves vain. 

6 And whatsoever is asked of him 
by vain men, he answers them vainly; 
nevertheless he speaketh some things 
truly. For the Devil fills him with his 
spirit, that he may overthrow some 
of the righteous. 

7 Whosoever therefore are strong in 
the faith of the Lord, and have put 
on the truth; they are not joined to 
such spirits, but depart from them. 
But they that are doubtful, and often 

repenting, like the heathens, consult 
them, and heap up to themselves 
great sin, serving idols. 
8 As many therefore as are such, in- 
quire of them upon every occasion; 
worship idols, and are foolish; and 
void of the truth. For every spirit 
that is given from God needs not to 
be asked: but having the power of 
divinity speaks all things of itself, 
because he comes from above; from 
the power of God. 

10 But he, that being asked speaks 
according to men's desires and con- 
cerning many other affairs of this 
present world, understands not the 
tidings which relate unto God. For 
these spirits are darkened through 
such affairs, and corrupted, and 

11 As good vines if they are neg- 
lected, are oppressed with weeds and 
thorns, and at last killed by them; so 
are the men who believe such spirits. 

12 They fall into many actions and 
businesses, and are void of sense, 
and when they think of things per- 
taining unto God, they understand 
nothing at all; but at any time they 
chance to hear any thing concerning 
the Lord, their thoughts are upon 
their business. 

13 But they that have the fear of the 
Lord, and search out the truth con- 
cerning God, having all their 
thoughts towards the Lord; appre- 
hend whatsoever is said to them, and 
forthwith understand it, because 
they have the fear of the Lord in 

14 For where the spirit of the Lord 
dwells, there is also much under- 
standing added. Wherefore join thy- 
self to the Lord, and thou shalt un- 
derstand all things. 

15 Learn now, O unwise man! how 
sadness troubleth the Holy Spirit, 
and how it saves. When a man that is 


H E R M A S 

doubtful is engaged in any affair, 
and does not accomplish it by reason 
of his doubting; this sadness enters 
into him, and grieves the Holy Spirit, 
and makes him sad. 

16 Again anger, when it over, takes 
any man for any business he is 
greatly moved; and then again sad- 
ness entereth into the heart of him, 
who was moved with anger, and he is 
troubled for what he hath done, and 
repenteth, because he hath done 

17 This sadness therefore seemeth 
to bring salvation, because he repen- 
teth of his evil deed. But both the 
other things, namely, doubting and 
sadness, such as before was men- 
tioned, vex the spirit: doubting, be- 
cause his work did not succeed; and 
sadness, because he angered the 
Holy Spirit. 

18 Remove therefore sadness from 
thyself, and afflict not the Holy Spir- 
it which dwelleth in thee, lest he en- 
treat God, and depart from thee. For 
the spirit of the Lord which is given 
to dwell in the flesh, endureth no 
such sadness. 

19 Wherefore clothe thyself with 
cheerfulness, which has always fa- 
vour with the Lord, and thou shalt 
rejoice in it. For every cheerful man 
does well; and relishes those things 
that are good, and despises sadness. 

20 But the sad man does always 
wickedly. First, he doth wickedly, be- 
cause he grieveth the Holy Spirit, 
which is given to man being of a 
cheerful nature. And again he does 
ill, because be prays with sadness 
unto the Lord, and maketh not first 
a thankful acknowledgment unto him 
of former mercies, and obtains not 
of God what he asks. 

21 For the prayer of a sad man has 
not always efficacy to come up to 
the altar of God. And I said unto 

him, Sir, why has not the prayer of a 
sad man virtue to come up to the al- 
tar of God? Because, said he, that 
sadness remaineth in his heart. 

22 When therefore a man's prayer 
shall be accompanied with sadness, it 
will not suffer his requests to ascend 
pure to the altar of God. For as wine 
when it is mingled with vinegar, has 
not the sweetness it had before; so 
sadness being mixed with the Holy 
Spirit, suffers not a man's prayer to 
be the same as it would be otherwise. 

23 Wherefore cleanse thyself from 
sadness, which is evil, and thou shalt 
live unto God. And all others shall 
live unto God, as many as shall lay 
aside sadness, and put on cheerful- 


That the spirits and prophets are to be 
tried bj their works; and of a twofold, 

HE showed me certain men sitting 
upon benches, and one sitting in a 
chair: and he said unto me; Seest 
thou those who sit upon the 
benches? Sir, said I, I see them. He 
answered, They are the faithful; and 
he who sits in the chair is an earthly 

2 For he cometh not into the as- 
sembly of the faitful, but avoids it. 
But he joins himself to the doubtful 
and empty; and prophesies to them 
in corners and hidden places; and 
pleases them by speaking according 
to all the desires of their hearts. 

3 For he placing himself among 
empty vessels, is not broken, but the 
one fitteth the other. But when he 
cometh into the company of just 
men, who are full of the spirit of 
God, and they pray unto the Lord; 
that man is emptied, because that 
earthly spirit flies from him, and he 
is dumb, and cannot speak anything. 


H E R M A S 

4 As if in a store-house you shall 
stop up wine or oil, and among those 
vessels place an empty jar; and when 
afterwards you come to open it, you 
shall find it empty as you stopped it 
up; so those empty prophets when 
they come among the spirits of the 
just, are found to be such as they 

5 I said, How then shall a man be 
able to discern them? Consider what 
I am going to say concerning both 
kinds of men; and as I speak unto 
thee so shalt thou prove the prophet 
of God, and the false prophet. 

6 And first try the man who hath 
the spirit of God, because the spirit 
which is from above is humble, and 
quiet, and departs from all wicked- 
ness; and from the vain desires of 
the present world; and makes him- 
self more humble than all men; and 
answers to none when he is asked; 
nor to every one singly: for the Spir- 
it of God doth not speak to a man 
when he will, but when God pleases. 

7 When therefore a man who hath 
the Spirit of God hath come into the 
church of the righteous, who have 
the faith of God, and they pray unto 
the Lord; then the holy angel of 
God fills that man with the blessed 
Spirit, and he speaks in the congreg- 
ation as he is moved of God. 

8 Thus therefore is the spirit, of 
God known, because whosoever 
speaketh by the Spirit of God, 
speaketh as the Lord will. 

9 Hear now concerning the earthly 
spirit, which is empty and foolish, 
and without virtue. And first of all 
the man who is supposed to have the 
Spirit, (whereas he hath it not in 
reality), exalteth himself, and desires 
to have the first seat, and is wicked, 
and full of words. 

10 And spends his time in pleasure, 
and in all manner of voluptuousness, 

and receives the reward of his divin- 
ation; which if he receives not, he 
does not divine. 

11 Should the Spirit of God receive 
reward, and divine? It doth not be- 
come a prophet of God so to do. 

12 Thus you seethe life of each of 
these kind of prophets. Wherefore 
prove that man by his life and works, 
who says that he hath the Holy Spir- 
it. And believe the Spirit which 
comes from God, and has power as 
such. But believe not the earthly and 
empty spirit, which is from the devil, 
in whom there is no faith nor virtue. 

13 Hear now the similitude which I 
am about to speak unto thee. Take a 
stone, and throw it up towards heav- 
en; or take a spout of water, and 
mount it up thitherward; and see if 
thou canst reach unto heaven. 

14 Sir; said I, how can this be done? 
For neither of those things which 
you have mentioned, are possible to 
be done. And he answered, There- 
fore as these things cannot be done, 
so is the earthy spirit without virtue, 
and without effect. 

15 Understand yet farther the power 
which cometh from above, in this 
similitude. The grains of hail that 
drop down are exceedingly small; 
and yet when they fall upon the head 
of a man, how do they cause pain to 

16 And again, consider, the drop- 
pings of a house; how the little 
drops falling upon the earth, work a 
hollow in the stones. 

17 So in like manner the least things 
which come from above, and fall 
upon the earth, have great force. 
Wherefore join thyself to this spirit, 
which has the power; and depart 
from the other which is empty. 



H E R M A S 

Of a two fold desire: that the commands 
of God, are not impossible: and that the 
devil is not to be feared by them that be- 

AGAIN he said unto me; remove 
from thee all evil desires, and put on 
good and holy desires. For having 
put on a good desire, thou shalt hate 
that which is evil, and bridle it as 
thou wilt. But an evil desire is dread- 
ful, and hard to be tamed. 

2 It is very horrible and wild; and 
by its wildness consumes men. And 
especially if a servant of God shall 
chance to fall into it, except he be 
very wise, he is ruined by it. For it 
destroys those who have not the gar- 
ment of a good desire and are en- 
gaged in the affairs of this present 
world; and delivers them unto death. 

3 Sir, said I, what are the works of 
an evil desire, which bring men unto 
death? Shew them to me that I may 
depart from them. Hear, said he, by 
what works an evil desire bringeth 
the servants of God unto death. 

4 First of all, it is an evil desire to 
covet another man's wife, or for a 
woman to covet another's husband; 
as also to desire the dainties of 
riches; and multitude of superfluous 
meats; and drunkenness; and many 

5 For in much delicacy there is 
folly; and many pleasures are need- 
less to the servants of God. Such 
lusting therefore is evil and perni- 
cious, which brings to death the ser- 
vants of God. For all such lusting is 
from the devil. 

6 Whosoever therefore shall depart 
from all evil desires, shall live unto 
God; but they that are subject unto 
them shall die forever. For this evil 
lusting is deadly. Do thou therefore 
put on the desire of righteousness, 
and being armed with the fear of the 
Lord resist all wicked lusting. 

7 For this fear dwelleth in good de- 
sires; and, when evil coveting shall 
see thee armed with the fear of the 
Lord, and resisting it; it will fly far 
from thee, and not appear before 
thee, but be afraid of thy armour. 

8 And thou shall have the victory, 
and be crowned for it; and shall at- 
tain to that desire which is good; and 
shall give the victory which thou 
hast obtained unto God, and shall 
serve him in doing what thou thyself 
wouldest do. 

9 For if thou shalt serve good de- 
sires, and be subject to them; then 
thou shalt be able to get the domin- 
ion over thy wicked lustings; and 
they will be subject to thee, as thou 

10 And I said, Sir, I would know 
how to serve that desire which is 
good? Hearken, said he, Fear God, 
and put thy trust in him, and love 
truth, and righteousness, and do that 
which is good. 

10 If thou shalt do these things, 
thou shall be an approved servant of 
God, and serve him; and all others 
who shall in like manner serve a 
good desire, shall live unto God. 

12 And when he had fulfilled these 
twelve commands, he said unto me, 
Thou hast now these commands, 
walk in them; and exhort those that 
hear them, to repent, and that they 
keep their repentance pure all the re- 
maining days of their life. 

13 And fulfil diligently this ministry 
which I commit to thee, and thou 
shalt receive great advantage by it, 
and find favour with all such as shall 
repent and believe thy words. For I 
am with thee, and will force them to 

14 And I said unto him, Sir, these 
commands are great and excellent, 
and able to cheer the heart of that 
man that shall be able to keep them. 


H E R M A S 

But, Sir, I cannot tell, whether they 
can be observed by any man? 

15 He answered, Thou shalt easily 
keep these commands, and they shall 
not be hard: howbeit, if thou shalt 
suffer it once to enter into thine 
heart that they cannot be kept by any 
one, thou shalt not fulfil them. 

16 But now I say unto thee, if thou 
shalt not observe these commands, 
and shall neglect them, thou shalt 
not be saved, nor thy children, nor 
thy house: because thou hast judged 
that these commands cannot be kept 
by man. 

17 These things he spake very an- 
grily unto me, insomuch that he 
greatly affrighted me, for he changed 
his countenance so that a man could 
not bear his anger. 

18 And when he saw me altogether 
troubled and confounded, he began 
to speak more moderately and cheer- 
fully, saying, O foolish, and without 

19 Unconstant, not knowing the 
majesty of God how great and won- 
derful he is; who created the world 
for man, and hath made every 
creature subject unto him; and given 
him all power, that he should be able 
to fulfil all these commands. 

20 He is able, said he, to fulfil all 
these commands, who has the Lord 
in his heart; but they who have the 
Lord only in their mouths, their 
hearts are hardened, and they are far 
from the Lord: to such persons these 
commands are hard and difficult. 

21 Therefore, ye that are empty and 
light in the faith, put the Lord your 
God in your hearts; and ye shall per- 
ceive how that nothing is more easy 
than these commands, nor more 
pleasant, nor more gentle and holy. 

22 And turn yourselves to the Lord 
your God, and forsake the devil and 
his pleasures, because they are evil, 

and bitter, and impure. And fear not 
the devil, because he has no power 
over you. 

23 For I am with you, the messenger 
of repentance, who have the domin- 
ion over him. The devil doth indeed 
affright men but his terror is vain. 
Wherefore fear him not, and he will 
flee from you. 

24 And I said unto him; Sir, hear me 
speak a few words unto you. He 
answered, Say on: A man indeed de- 
sires to keep the commandments of 
God, and there is no one but what 
prays unto God, that he may be able 
to keep his commandments; 

25 But the devil is hard, and by his 
power rules over the servants of 
God. And he said; He cannot rule 
over the servants of God, who trust 
in him with all their hearts. 

26 The devil may strive, but he can- 
not overcome them. 

27 For if ye resist him, he will flee 
away with confusion from you. But 
they that are not full in the faith, 
fear the devil, as if he had some 
great power. For the devil tries the 
servants of God and if he finds 
them empty, he destroys them. 

28 For as man, when he fills up ves- 
sels with good wine, and among 
them puts a few vessels half full, 
and comes to try and taste of the 
vessels, doth not try those that are 
full, because he knows that they are 
good, but tastes those that are half 
full, lest they should grow sour; (for 
vessels half full soon grow sour, and 
lose the taste of wine:) so the devil 
comes to the servants of God to try 

29 They that are full of faith resist 
him stoutly, and he departs from 
them, because he finds no place 
where to enter into them then he 
goes to those that are not full of 
faith, and because he has a place of 


H E R M A S 

entrance he goes into them, and does 
what he will with them, and they be- 
come his servants. 

30 But I, the messenger of repent- 
ance, say unto you, fear not the dev- 
il, for I am sent unto you, that I may 
be with you, as many as shall repent 
with your whole heart, and that I 
may confirm you in the faith. 

31 Believe therefore, ye who by 
reason of your transgressions have 
forgot God. and your own salvation; 
and adding to your sins have made 
your life very heavy. 

32 That if ye shall turn to the Lord 
with your whole hearts, and shall 
serve him according to his will; he 
will heal you of your former sins, 
and ye shall have dominion over all 
the works of the devil. 

33 Be not then afraid in the least of 
his threatenings, for they are without 
force, as the nerves of a dead man. 
But hearken unto me, and fear the 
Lord Almighty, who is able to save 
and to destroy you; and keep his 
commands, that ye may live unto 

34 And I said unto him; Sir, I am 
now confirmed in all the commands 
of the Lord whilst you are with me, 
and I know that you will break all 
the powers of the devil. 

35 And we also shall overcome him, 
if we shall be able, through the help 
of the Lord, to keep these com- 
mands which you have delivered. 

36 Thou shalt keep them, said he, if 
thou shalt purify thy heart towards 
the Lord. And all they also shall 
keep them who shall cleanse their 
hearts from the vain desires of the 
present world, and shall live unto 



That seeing we have no abiding city in 
this world, we ought to look after that 
which is to come. 

AND he said onto me; Ye know that 
ye who are the servants of the Lord, 
live here as in a pilgrimage; for your 
city is far off from this city. 

2 If, therefore, ye know your city in 
which ye are to dwell, why do ye 
here buy estates, and provide 
yourselves with delicacies, and 
stately buildings, and supurfluous 
houses? For he that provides himself 
these things in this city, does not 
think of returning into his own city. 

3 O foolish, and doubtful, and 
wretched man; who understandest 
not that all these things belong to 
other men, and are under the power 
of another. For the Lord of this city 
saith unto thee; Either obey my laws, 
or depart out of my city. 

4 What therefore shalt thou do who 
art subject to a law in thine own 
city? Canst thou for thy estate, or 
for any of those things which thou 
hast provided, deny thy law? But if 
thou shalt deny it, and wilt after- 
wards return into thy own city, thou 
shalt not be received, but shall be 
excluded thence. 

5 See therefore, that like a man in 
another country, thou procure no 
more to thyself than what is neces- 
sary, and sufficient for thee; and be 
ready, that when the God or Lord of 
this city shall drive thee out of it 
thou mayest oppose his law, and go 
into thine own city; where thou may- 
est with all cheerfulness live accord- 
ing to thine own law with no wrong. 

6 Take heed therefore ye that serve 
God, and have him in your hearts: 
work ye the works of God, being 
mindful both of his commands and 


H E R M A S 

of his promises, which he has prom- 
ised; and be assured that he will 
make them good unto you; if ye shall 
keep his commandments. 

7 Instead therefore of the posses- 
sions that ye would otherwise pur- 
chase, redeem those that are in want 
from their necessities, as every one 
is able; justify the widows; judge the 
cause of the fatherless; and spend 
your riches and your wealth in such 
works as these. 

8 For this end has God enriched 
you, that ye might fulfil these kind 
of services. It is much better to do 
this, than to buy lands or houses; be- 
cause all such things shall perish 
with this present time. 

9 But what ye shall do for the name 
of the Lord, ye shall find in your 
city, and shall have joy without sad- 
ness or fear. Wherefore covet not 
the riches of the heathen; for they 
are destructive to the servants of 

10 But trade with your own riches 
which you possess, by which ye may 
attain unto everlasting joy. 

11 And do not commit adultery, nor 
touch any other man's wife, nor de- 
sire her; but covet that which is thy 
own business, and thou shalt be 


As the vine is supported bj the elm, so is 
the rich man helped by the prayers of the 

AS I was walking into the field, and 
considered the elm and the vine, and 
thought with myself of their fruits, 
an angel appeared unto me, and said 
unto me; What is it that thou 
thinkest upon thus long within thy- 

2 And I said unto him, Sir, I think 
of this vine and this elm because 
their fruits are fair. And he said unto 

me; These two trees are set for a 
pattern to the servants of God. 

3 And I said unto him, Sir, I would 
know in what the pattern of these 
trees which thou mentionest, does 
consist. Hearken, saith he; seest thou 
this vine and this elm? Sir, said I, I 
see them. 

4 This vine, saith he, is fruitful, but 
the elm is a tree without fruit. Nev- 
ertheless this vine unless it were set 
by this elm, and supported by it, 
would not bear much fruit; but lying 
along upon the ground, would bear 
but ill fruit, because it did not hang 
upon the elm; whereas, being sup- 
ported upon the elm, it bears fruit 
both for itself and for that. 

5 See, therefore, how the elm gives 
no less, but rather more fruit, than 
the vine. How, Sir, said I, does it 
bear more fruit than the vine? Be- 
cause, said he, the vine being sup- 
ported upon the elm gives both 
much and good fruit; whereas, if it 
lay along upon the ground, it would 
bear but little, and that very ill too. 

6 This similitude, therefore, is set 
forth to the servants of God; and it 
represents the rich and poor man. I 
answered, Sir, make this manifest 
unto me. Hear, said he; the rich man 
has wealth: howbeit towards the 
Lord he is poor; for he is taken up 
about his riches, and prays but little 
to the Lord; and the prayers which 
he makes are lazy and without force. 

7 When therefore, the rich man 
reaches out to the poor those things 
which he wants, the poor man prays 
unto the Lord for the rich; and God 
grants unto the rich man all good 
things, because the poor man is rich 
in prayer; and his requests have great 
power with the Lord. 

8 Then the rich man ministers all 
thing to the poor, because he per- 
ceives that he is heard by the Lord; 


H E R M A S 

and he the more willingly and 
without doubting, affords him what 
he wants, and takes care that nothing 
be lacking to him. 

9 And the poor man gives thanks 
unto the Lord for the rich; because 
they both do their work from the 

10 With men, therefore, the elm is 
not thought to give any fruit; and 
they know not, neither understand 
that its company being added to the 
vine, the vine bears a double in- 
crease, both for itself and for the 

11 Even so the poor praying unto 
the Lord for the rich, are heard by 
him; and their riches are increased, 
because they minister to the poor of 
their wealth. They are, therefore, 
both made partakers of each other's 
good works. 

12 Whosoever, therefore, shall do 
these things, he shall not be forsaken 
by the Lord, but shall be written in 
the book of life. 

13 Happy are they who are rich, and 
perceive themselves to be increased: 
for he that is sensible of this, will be 
able to minister somewhat to others. 


As the greet trees in the winter cannot be 
distinguished from the dry; so neither can 
the righteous from the wicked in this 
present world. 

AGAIN he showed me many trees 
whose leaves were shed, and which 
seemed to me to be withered, for 
they were all alike. And he said unto 
me, Seest thou these trees? I said, 
Sir, I see that they look like dry 

2 He answering, said unto me; 
These trees are like unto the men 
who live in the present world. I 
replied: Sir, why are they like unto 
dried trees? Because, said he, neither 

the righteous, nor unrighteous, are 
known from one another; but all are 
alike in this present world. 

3 For this world is as the winter to 
the righteous men, because they are 
not known, but dwell among sinners. 

4 As in the winter all the trees hav- 
ing lost their leaves, are like dry 
trees; nor can it be discerned which 
are dry and which are green: so in 
this present world neither the right- 
eous, nor wicked are discerned from 
each other; but they are all alike. 


As in the summer the living trees are dis- 
tinguished from the dry by their fruit and 
green leaves; so in the world to come the 
righteous shall be distinguished from the 
unrighteous bj their happiness. 

AGAIN he showed me many other 
trees, of which some had leaves, and 
others appeared dry and withered. 
And he said unto me, Seest thou 
these trees I answered, Sir, I see 
them; some are dry, and others full 
of leaves. 

2 These trees, saith be, which are 
green, are the righteous, who shall 
possess the world to come. For the 
world to come, is the summer to the 
righteous; but to sinners it is the 

3 When, therefore, the mercy of the 
Lord shall shine forth, then they 
who serve God shall be made mani- 
fest, and plain unto all. For as in the 
summer the fruit of every tree is 
shown and made manifest, so also 
the works of the righteous shall be 
declared and made manifest, and 
they shall all be restored in that 
world merry and joyful. 

4 For the other kind of men, namely 
the wicked, like the trees which thou 
rawest dry, shall, as such, be found 
dry and without fruit in that other 
world; and like dry wood shall be 


H E R M A S 

burnt; and it shall be made manifest 
that they have done evil all the time 
of their life; 

5 And they shall be burnt because 
they have sinned and have not repen- 
ted of their sins. And also all the 
other nations shall be burnt, because 
they have not acknowledged God 
their Creator. 

6 Do then, therefore, bring forth 
good fruit, that in the summer thy 
fruit may be known; and keep thyself 
from much business, and thou shalt 
not offend. For they who are in- 
volved in much business, sin much; 
because they are taken up with their 
affairs, and serve not God. 

7 And how can a man that does not 
serve God, ask anything of God, and 
receive it? But they who serve him, 
ask and receive what they desire. 

8 But if a man has only one thing to 
follow, he may serve God, because 
his mind is not taken off from God, 
but he serves him with a pure mind. 

9 If, therefore, thou shalt do this, 
thou mayest have fruit in the world 
to come; and as many as shall do in 
like manner, shall bring forth fruit. 


Of a true fast, and the rewards of it: 
also of the cleanliness of the body. 

AS I was fasting, and sitting down 
in a certain mountain, and giving 
thanks unto God for all the things 
that he had done unto me; behold, I 
saw the Shepherd, who was wont to 
converse with me, sitting by me, and 
saying unto me: What has brought 
thee hither thus early in the morn- 
ing? I answered, Sir, to-day I keep a 

2 He answered, What is a station; I 
replied, it is a fast. He said, What is 
that fast? I answered, I fast as I have 
been wont to do. Ye know not, said 
he, what it is to fast unto God; nor 

is this a fast which ye keep, profiting 
nothing with God. 

3 Sir, said I, what makes you speak 
thus? He replied, I speak it, because 
it is not the true fast which you 
think that you keep; but I will show 
you what that is which is a complete 
fast, and acceptable unto God. 

4 Hearken, said he, The Lord does 
not desire such a needless fast; for 
by fasting in this manner, thou ad- 
vancest nothing in righteousness. 

5 But the true fast is this: Do noth- 
ing wickedly in thy life, but serve 
God with a pure mind; and keep his 
commandments, and walk according 
to his precepts, nor suffer any 
wicked desire to enter into the mind. 

6 But trust in the Lord, that if thou 
dost these things, any fearest him, 
and abstaineth from every evil work, 
thou shall live unto God. 

7 If thou shalt do this, thou shall 
perfect a great fast, and an accept- 
able one unto the Lord. 

8 Hearken unto the similitude which 
I am about to propose unto thee, as 
to this matter. 

9 A certain man having a farm, and 
many servants, planted a vineyard in 
a certain part of his estate for his 

10 And taking a journey into a far 
country, chose one of his servants 
which he thought the most faithful 
and approved, and delivered the 
vineyard into his care; commanding 
him that he should stake up the 
vines. Which if he did, and fulfilled 
his command, he promised to give 
him his liberty. Nor did he command 
him to do any thing more; and so 
went into a far country. 

11 And after that servant had taken 
that charge upon him, he did what- 
soever his lord commanded him. And 
when he had staked the vineyard, 
and found it to be full of weeds, he 


H E R M A S 

began to think within himself, say- 

12 I have done what my lord com- 
manded me, I will now dig this vine- 
yard, and when it is digged, it will be 
more beautiful; and the weeds being 
pulled up, it will bring forth more 
fruit and not be choked by the 

13 So setting about this work he 
digged it, and plucked up all the 
weeds that were in it; and so the 
vineyard became very beautiful and 
prosperous, not being choked with 

14 After some time the lord of the 
vineyard comes and goes into the 
vineyard, and when he saw that it 
was handsomely staked and digged, 
and the weeds plucked up that were 
in it, and the vines flourishing, he 
rejoiced greatly at the care of his 

15 And calling his son whom he 
loved, and who was to be his heir, 
and his friends with whom he was 
wont to consult; he tells them what 
he had commanded his servant to do, 
and what his servant had done more; 
and they immediately congratulated 
that servant, that he had received so 
full a testimony from his lord. 

16 Then he said to them, I indeed 
promised this servant his liberty, if 
he observed the command which I 
gave him; and he observed it, and 
besides has done a good work to my 
vineyard, which has exceedingly 
pleased me. 

17 Wherefore, for this work which 
he hath done, I will make him my 
heir together with my son; because 
that when he saw what was good, he 
neglected it not, but did it. 

18 This design of the lord both his 
son and his friends approved, 
namely, that his servant should be 
heir together with his son. 

19 Not long after this the master of 
the family calling together, his 
friends, sent from his supper several 
kinds of food to that servant. 

20 Which when he had received, he 
took so much of them as was suffi- 
cient for himself, and divided the 
rest among his fellow-servants. 

21 Which when they had received, 
they rejoiced; and wished that he 
might find yet greater favour with 
his lord, for what he had done to 

22 When his lord heard all these 
things, he was again filled with great 
joy: and calling again his friends and 
his son together, he related to them 
what his servant had done with the 
meats which he had sent unto him. 

23 They therefore so much the more 
assented to the master of the house- 
hold; and he ought to make that ser- 
vant his heir together with his son. 

24 I said unto him, sir, I know not 
these smilitudes, neither can I under- 
stand them, unless you expound 
them unto me. I will, says he, ex- 
pound, all things unto thee whatso- 
ever I have talked with thee, or 
shown unto thee. 

25 Keep the commandments of the 
Lord and thou shalt be approved, 
and shall be written in the number 
of those that keep his command- 
ments. But if besides those things 
which the Lord hath commanded, 
thou shalt add some good thing; 
thou shall purchase to thyself a 
greater dignity, and be in more fa- 
vour with the Lord than thou 
shouldst otherwise have been. 

26 If therefore thou shalt keep the 
commandments of the Lord, and 
shalt add to them these stations, 
thou shall rejoice; but especially if 
thou shalt keep them according to 
my commands. 


H E R M A S 

27 I said unto him, sir, whatsoever 
thou shah command me, I will ob- 
serve; for I know that thou wilt be 
with me. I will, said he, be with thee 
who hast taken up such a resolution; 
and I will be with all those who pur- 
pose in like manner. 

28 This fast, saith he, whilst thou 
dost also observe the command- 
ments of the Lord, is exceeding 
good; therefore thus shalt thou keep 

29 First of all, take heed to thyself, 
and keep thyself from every wicked 
act, and from every filthy word, and 
from every hurtful desire; and purify 
thy mind from all the vanity of this 
present world. If thou shalt observe 
these things, this fast shall be right. 

30 Thus therefore do. Having per- 
formed what is before written, that 
day on which thou fastest thou shalt 
taste nothing at all but bread and 
water; and computing the quantity of 
food which thou art want to eat 
upon other days, thou shalt lay aside 
the expense which thou shouldest 
have made that day, and give it unto 
the widow, the fatherless, and the 

31 And thus thou shalt perfect the 
humiliation of thy soul; that he who 
receives of it may satisfy his soul, 
and his prayer come up to the Lord 
God for thee. 

32 If therefore thou shalt thus ac- 
complish thy fast, as I command 
thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable 
unto the Lord, and thy fast shall be 
written in his book. 

33 This station, thus performed, is 
good and pleasing and acceptable 
unto the Lord. These things if thou 
shalt observe with thy children and 
with all thy house, thou shalt be 

34 And whosoever, when they hear 
these things, shall do them, they also 

shall be happy; and whatsoever they 
shall ask of the Lord they shall re- 
ceive it. 

35 And I prayed him that he would 
expound unto me the similitude of 
the farm, and the Lord, and of the 
vineyard, and of the servant that had 
staked the vineyard; and of the 
weeds that were plucked out of the 
vineyard; and of his son and his 
friends which he took into counsel 
with him; for I understand that that 
was a similitude. 

36 He said unto me, Thou art very 
bold in asking; for thou oughtest not 
to ask any thing; because if it be fit- 
ting to show it unto thee, it shall be 
showed unto thee. 

37 I answered him; Sir, whatsoever 
thou shalt show me, without explain- 
ing it unto me, I shall in vain see it, 
if I do not understand what it is. 
And if thou shalt propose any simil- 
itudes, and not expound them, I 
shall in vain hear them. 

38 He answered me again, saying: 
Whosoever is the servant of God, 
and has the Lord in his heart, he de- 
sires understanding of him, and re- 
ceives it; and he explains every simil- 
itude, and understands the words of 
the Lord which need an inquiry. 

39 But they that are lazy and slow 
to pray, doubt to seek from the 
Lord: although the Lord be of such 
an extraordinary goodness, that 
without ceasing he giveth all things 
to them that ask of him. 

40 Thou therefore who art 
strengthened by that venerable mes- 
senger, and hast received such a 
powerful gift of prayer; seeing thou 
art not slothful, why dost thou not 
now ask understanding of the Lord, 
and receive it? 

41 I said unto him; seeing I have 
thee present, it is necessary that I 
should seek it of thee, and ask thee; 


H E R M A S 

for thou shewest all things unto me, 
and speakest to me when thou art 

42 But if I should see or hear these 
things when thou wert not present, I 
would then ask the Lord that he 
would chew them unto me. 

43 And he replied, I said a little be- 
fore that thou wert subtle and bold, 
in that thou asketh the meaning of 
these similitudes. 

44 But because thou still persistest, 
I will unfold to thee this parable 
which then desirest, that thou mayest 
make it known unto all men. 

45 Hear, therefore, said he, and un- 
derstand. The farm before men- 
tioned denotes the whole earth. The 
Lord of the farm is he, who created 
and finished all things; and gave vir- 
tue unto them. 

46 His son is the Holy Spirit; the 
servant is the Son of God: the vine- 
yard is the people whom he saves. 
The stakes are the messengers which 
are set oven them by the Lord, to 
support his people. The weeds that 
are plucked up out of the vineyard, 
are the sins which the servants of 
God had committed. 

47 The food which he sent him 
from his supper, are the commands 
which he gave to his people by his 
Son. The friends whom he called to 
counsel with him, are the holy angels 
whom he first created. The absence 
of the master of the household, is 
the time that remains unto his com- 

48 I said unto him, Sir, all these 
things are very excellent, and won- 
derful, and good. But, continued I, 
could I or any other man besides, 
though never so wise, have under- 
stood these things? 

49 Wherefore now, sir, tell me, what 
I ask. He replied, ask me what thou 
wilt. Why, said I, is the Son of God 

in this parable, put in the place of a 

50 Hearken, he said: the Son of 
God is not put in the condition of a 
servant, but in great power and au- 
thority. I said unto him, how, sir? I 
understand it not. 

51 Because, said he, the Son set his 
messengers over those whom the 
Father delivered unto him, to keep 
every one of them; but he himself 
laboured very much, and suffered 
much, that he might blot out their 

52 For no vineyard can be digged 
without much labour and pains. 
Wherefore having blotted out the 
sins of his people, he showed to 
them the paths of life, giving them 
the law which he had received of the 

53 You see, said he, that he is the 
Lord of his people, having received 
all power from his Father. But why 
the lord did take his son into coun- 
sel, about dividing the inheritance, 
and the good angels, hear now. 

54 That Holy Spirit, which was cre- 
ated first of all, he placed in the 
body in which God should dwell; 
namely, in a chosen body, as it 
seemed good to him. This body 
therefore into which the Holy Spirit 
was brought, served that Spirit, 
walking rightly and purely in mod- 
esty; nor ever defiled that Spirit. 

55 Seeing therefore the body at all 
times obeyed the Holy Spirit, and la- 
boured rightly and chastely with him, 
nor faltered at anytime; that body 
being wearied conversed indeed 
servilely, but being mightily ap- 
proved to God with the Holy Spirit, 
was accepted by him. 

56 For such a stout course pleased 
God, because he was not defiled in 
the earth, keeping the Holy Spirit. 
He called therefore to counsel his 


H E R M A S 

Son, and the good angels, that there 
might be some place of standing giv- 
en to this body which had served the 
Holy Spirit without blame; lest it 
should seem to have lost the reward 
of its service. 

57 For every pure body shall receive 
its reward; that is found without 
spot, in which the Holy Spirit has 
been appointed to dwell. And thus 
you have now the exposition of this 
parable also. 

58 Sir, said I, I now understand 
your meaning, since I have heard this 
exposition. Hearken farther, said he: 
keep this thy body clean and pure, 
that the Spirit which shall dwell in it 
may bear witness unto it, and be 
judged to have been with thee. 

59 Also take heed that it be not in- 
stilled into thy mind that this body 
perishes, and thou abuse it to any 
lust. For if thou shalt defile thy 
body, thou shalt also at the same 
time defile the Holy Spirit; and if 
thou shalt defile the Holy Spirit, 
thou shall not live. 

60 And I said, What if through ig- 
norance this should have been 
already committed, before a man 
heard these words; How can he at- 
tain into salvation, who has thus de- 
filed his body? 

61 He replied, As for men's former 
actions which through ignorance 
they have committed, God only can 
afford a remedy unto them; for all 
the power belongeth unto him. 

62 But now guard thyself; and see- 
ing God is almighty and merciful, he 
will grant a remedy to what thou 
hast formerly done amiss, if for the 
time, to come thou shalt not defile 
thy body and spirit: 

63 For they are companions togeth- 
er, and the one cannot be defiled but 
the other will be so too. Keep there- 

fore both of them pure, and thou 
shalt live unto God. 


Of two sorts of voluptuous men, and of 
their death and defection; and of the con- 
tinuance of their pains. 
AS I was sitting at home, and prais- 
ing God for all the things which I 
had seen; and was thinking concern- 
ing the commands, that they were ex- 
ceedingly good, and great, and hon- 
est, and pleasant, and such as were 
able to bring a man to salvation; I 
said thus within myself, I shall be 
happy if I walk according to these 
commands; and whosoever shall walk 
in them shall live unto God. 

2 Whilst I was speaking on this wise 
within myself, I saw him whom I had 
before been wont to see, sitting by 
me; and he spake thus unto me: 

3 What doubtest thou concerning 
my commands which I have delivered 
unto thee? They are good, doubt not, 
but trust in the Lord, and thou shalt 
walk in them; for I will give thee 
strength to fulfil them. 

4 These commands are profitable to 
those who shall repent of the sins 
which they have formerly committed; 
if for the time to come they shall 
not continue in them. 

5 Whosoever therefore ye be that 
repent, cast away from you the 
naughtiness of the present world; 
and put on all virtue, and righteous- 
ness, and so shall ye be able to keep 
these commands; and not sin from 
henceforth any more. 

6 For if ye shall keep yourselves 
from sin for the time to come, ye 
shall cut off a great deal of your 
former sins. Walk in my commands, 
and ye shall live unto God: These 
things have I spoken unto you. 

7 And when he, had said this, he ad- 
ded; let us go into the field, and I 


H E R M A S 

will show thee shepherds of sheep. I 
replied, sir, let us go. 

8 And we came into a certain field, 
and there he showed me a young 
shepherd, finely arrayed, with his 
garments of a purple colour. And he 
fed large flocks; and his sheep were 
full of pleasure, and in much delight 
and cheerfulness; and they skipping, 
ran here and there. 

9 And the shepherd took very great 
satisfaction in his flock; and the 
countenance of that shepherd was 
cheerful, running up and down 
among his flock. 

10 Then the angel said unto me, 
Seest then this shepherd? I 
answered, sir, I see him. He said 
unto me, this is the messenger of 
delight and pleasure. He therefore 
corrupts the minds of the servants 
of God, and turns them from the 
truth, delighting them with many 
pleasures, and they perish. 

11 For they forget the commands of 
the living God, and live in luxury 
and in vain pleasures, and are cor- 
rupted by the evil angel, some of 
them even unto death; and others to 
a falling away. 

12 I replied; I understand not what 
you mean, by saying unto death, and 
to a falling away. Hear, says he; all 
those sheep which thou sawest ex- 
ceeding joyful, are such as have for 
ever departed from God, and given 
selves up to the lusts of this present 

13 To these therefore there is no re- 
turn, by repentance, unto life; be- 
cause, to their other sins they have 
added this, that they have blas- 
phemed the name of the lord: These 
kind of men are ordained unto 

14 But those sheep which thou saw- 
est not leaping, but feeding in one 
place; are such as have indeed given 

themselves up to pleasure and de- 
lights; but have not spoken anything 
wickedly against the Lord. 

15 These therefore are only fallen 
off from the truth, and so have yet 
hope laid up for them in repentance. 
For such a falling off hath some 
hope still left of a renewal; but they 
that are dead, are utterly gone for 

16 Again we went a little farther 
forward, and he showed me a great 
shepherd, who had as it were a rustic 
figure; clad with a white goat's skin, 
having his bag upon his shoulder, 
and in his hand a stick full of knots, 
and very hard, and a whip in his oth- 
er hand; and his countenance was 
stern and sour, enough to affright a 
man; such was his look. 

17 He took from that young shep- 
herd such sheep as lived in pleasures, 
but did not skip up and down; and 
drove them into a certain steep 
craggy place fall of thorns and bri- 
ars, insomuch that they could not get 
themselves free from them: 

18 But being entangled in them, fed 
upon thorns and briars, and were 
grievously tormented with his whip- 
ping. For he still drove them on, and 
afforded them not any place, or time, 
to stand still. 

19 When therefore I saw them so 
cruelly whipped and afflicted, I was 
grieved for them; because they were 
greatly tormented, nor had they any 
rest afforded them. 

20 And I said unto the shepherd 
that was with me: Sir, who is this 
cruel and implacable shepherd, who 
is moved with no compassion to- 
wards these sheep? He answered, 
This shepherd is indeed one of the 
holy angels, but is appointed for the 
punishment of sinners. 

21 To him therefore are delivered 
those who have erred from God, and 


H E R M A S 

served the lusts and pleasures of this 
world. For this cause he punishes 
them every one according to their 
deserts, with cruel and various kinds 
of pains. 

22 Sir, said I, I would know what 
kind of pains they are which every 
one undergoes? Hearken, said he; 
The several pains and torments are 
those which men every day undergo 
in their present lives. For some suf- 
fer losses; others poverty; others 
divers sicknesses. Some are un- 
settled; others suffer injuries from 
those that are unworthy; others fall 
under many other trials and incon- 

23 For many with an unsettled 
design at many things, and it 
profiteth them not; and they say that 
they have not success in their under- 

24 They do not call to their mind 
what they have done amiss, and they 
complain of the Lord. When there- 
fore they shall have undergone all 
kind of vexation and inconvenience; 
then they are delivered over to me 
for good instruction, and are con- 
firmed in the Faith of the Lord, and 
serve the Lord all the rest of their 
days with a pure mind. 

25 And when they begin to repent 
of their sins, then they call to mind 
their works which they have done 
amiss, and give honour to God, say- 
ing, that he is a just Judge, and they 
have deservedly suffered all things 
according to their deeds. 

26 Then for what remains of their 
lives, they serve God with a pure 
mind; and have success in all their 
undertakings, and receive from the 
Lord whatever they desire. 

27 And then they give thanks unto 
the Lord that they were delivered 
unto me; nor do they suffer any 
more cruelty. 

28 I said unto him; Sir, I entreat you 
still to show me now one thing. 
What, said he, dost thou ask? I said 
unto him; Are they who depart from 
the fear of God, tormented for the 
same time that they enjoyed their 
false delight and pleasures? He 
answered me; they are tormented for 
the same time. 

29 And I said unto him; They are 
then tormented but little; whereas 
they who enjoy their pleasures so as 
to forget God, ought to endure sev- 
en times as much punishment. 

30 He answered me; Thou art fool- 
ish, neither understandest thou the 
efficacy of this punishment. I said 
unto him; Sir, if I understood it, I 
would not desire you to tell me. 

31 Hearken, said he, and learn what 
the force of both is, both of the 
pleasure and of the punishment. An 
hour of pleasure is terminated with- 
in its own space: but one hour of 
punishment has the efficacy of thirty 
days, a Whosoever therefore enjoys 
his false pleasure for one day, and is 
one day, tormented; that one day of 
punishment is equivalent to a whole 
year's space. 

32 Thus look how many days any 
one pursues his pleasures, so many 
years is he punished for it. You see 
therefore how that the time of 
worldly enjoyments is but short; but 
that of pain and torments, a great 
deal more. 

33 I replied; Sir, forasmuch as I do 
not understand at all these times of 
pleasure and pain; I entreat you that 
you would explain yourself more 
clearly concerning them. He 
answered me, saying; Thy foolishness 
still sticks unto thee. 

34. Shouldst thou not rather purify 
thy mind, and serve God? Take heed, 
lest when thy time is fulfilled, thou 
be found still unwise. Hear then, as 


H E R M A S 

thou desirest, that thou mayest the 
more easily understand. 

35 He that gives himself up one day 
to his pleasures and delights, and 
does whatsoever his soul desires, is 
full of great folly, nor understands 
what he does, but the day following 
forgets what he did the day before. 

36 For delight and worldly pleasure 
are not kept in memory, by reason of 
the folly that is rooted in them. But 
when pain and torment befal a man a 
day, he is in effect troubled the 
whole year after; because his punish- 
ment continues firm in his memory. 

37 Wherefore he remembers it with 
sorrow the whole year; and then calls 
to mind his vain pleasure and de- 
light, and perceives that for the sake 
of that he was punished. 

38 Whosoever therefore have de- 
livered themselves over to such 
pleasures, are thus punished; because 
that when they had life, they 
rendered themselves liable to death. 

39 I said unto him; Sir, what pleas- 
ures are hurtful? He answered; That 
is pleasure to every man which he 
doth willingly. 

40 For the angry man, gratifying his 
passion, perceives pleasure in it; and 
so the adulterer, and drunkard; the 
slanderer and liar; the covetous man 
and the defrauder; and whosoever 
commits anything like unto these, he 
followeth his evil disposition, be- 
cause he receives a satisfaction in 
the doing of it. 

41 All these pleasures and delights 
are hurtful to the servants of God. 
For these therefore they are tormen- 
ted and suffer punishment. 

42 There are also pleasures that 
bring salvation unto men. For many, 
when they do what is good, find 
pleasure in it, and are attracted by 
the delights of it. 

43 Now this pleasure is profitable 
to the servants of God, and brings 
life to such men; but those hurtful 
pleasures, which were before men- 
tioned, bring torments and punish- 

44 And whosoever shall continue in 
them, and shall not repent of what 
they have done, shall bring death 
upon themselves. 


That they who repent, must bring forth, 
fruits worthy of repent once. 

AFTER a few days I saw the same 
person that before talked with me, in 
the same field, in which I had seen 
those shepherds, And he said unto 
me; What seekest thou? Sir, said I, I 
came to entreat you that You would 
command the shepherd, who is the 
minister of punishment, to depart 
out of my house, because he greatly 
afflicts me. 

3 And he answered, It is necessary 
for thee to endure inconveniencies 
and vexations; for so that good angel 
hath commanded concerning thee, 
because he would try thee. 

4 Sir, said I; What so great offence 
have I committed, that I should be 
delivered to this messenger? 
Hearken, said he: Thou art indeed 
guilty of many sins, yet not so many 
that thou shouldest be delivered to 
this messenger. 

5 But thy house hath committed 
many sins and offences, and there- 
fore that good messenger being 
grieved at their doings commanded 
that for some time thou shouldst 
suffer affliction; that they may both 
repent of what they have done, and 
may wash themselves from all the 
lusts of this present world. 

6 When therefore they shall have re- 
pented, and be purified, then that 
messenger which is appointed over 


H E R M A S 

thy punishment, shall depart from 

7 I said unto him; Sir, if they have 
behaved themselves so as to anger 
that good angel, yet what have I 
done? He answered: They cannot 
otherwise be afflicted, unless thou, 
who art the head of the family, suf- 

8 For whatsoever thou shalt suffer, 
they must needs feel it but as long as 
thou shalt stand well established, 
they cannot experience any vexation. 

9 I replied; But, sir, behold they 
also now repent with all their hearts. 
I know, says he, that they repent 
with all their hearts; but dost thou 
therefore think that their offences 
who repent, are immediately blotted 

10 No, they are not presently; but 
he that repents must afflict his soul 
and show himself humble in all his 
affairs, and undergo many and divers 

11 And when he shall have suffered 
all things that were appointed for 
him; then perhaps HE that made 
him, and formed all things besides, 
will be moved with compassion to- 
wards him, and afford him some 
remedy; and especially if HE shall 
perceive his heart who repents, to be 
free from every evil work. 

12 But at present it is expedient for 
thee, and for thy house, to be 
grieved; and it is needful that thou 
shoudest endure much vexation, as 
the angel of the Lord who commit- 
ted thee unto me, has commanded. 

13 Rather give thanks unto the 
Lord, that knowing what was to 
come he thought thee worthy, to 
whom he should foretel that trouble 
was coming upon thee, who art able 
to bear it. 

14 I said unto him; Sir, but be thou 
also with me, and I shall easily un- 

dergo any trouble. I will, said he, be 
with thee; and I will entreat the mes- 
senger who is set over thy punish- 
ment, that he would moderate his af- 
flictions towards thee. 

15 And moreover thou shalt suffer 
adversity but for a little time; and 
then thou shalt again be restored to 
thy former state; only continue on in 
the humility of thy mind. 

16 Obey the Lord with a pure heart; 
thou, and thy house, and thy chil- 
dren; and. walk in the commands 
which I have delivered unto thee; 
and then thy repentance may be firm 
and pure. 

17 And if thou shalt keep these 
things with thy house, thy inconveni- 
encies shall depart from thee. 

18 And all vexation shall in like 
manner depart from those, whoso- 
ever shall walk according to these 


That there are many kinds of elect, and 
of repenting sinners: and how all of theca 
shall receive a reward proportionable to 
the measure of their repentance and good 

AGAIN he showed me a willow 
which covered the fields and the 
mountains, under whose shadow 
came all such as were called by the 
name of the Lord. 

2 And by that willow stood an. an- 
gel of the Lord very excellent and 
lofty, and did cut down bows from 
the willow with a great hook; and 
reached out to the people that were 
under the shadow of the willow, 
little rods, as it were about a foot 

3 And when all of them had taken 
them, he laid aside his hook, and the 
tree continued entire, as I had before 
seen it; at which I wondered, and 
mused within myself. 


H E R M A S 

4 Then that shepherd said unto me; 
Forbear to wonder that the tree con- 
tinues whole, not-with-standing so 
many boughs have been cut off from 
it: but stay a little, for now it shall 
be shown thee, what that angel 
means, who gave those rods to the 

5 So he again demanded the rods of 
them; and in the same order that 
every one had received them, was he 
called to him, and restored his rod; 
which when he had received, he ex- 
amined them. 

6 From some he received them dry 
and rotten, and as it were touched 
with the moth; those he commanded 
to be separated from the rest, and 
placed by themselves. Others gave in 
their rods dry indeed, but not 
touched with the moth: these also he 
ordered to be set by themselves. 

7 Others gave in their rods half dry; 
these also were set apart, Others 
gave in their rods half dry and cleft; 
these too were set by themselves. 
Others brought in their rods half dry 
and half green, and these were in 
like manner placed by themselves. 

8 Others delivered up their rods two 
parts green, and the third dry; and 
they too were set apart. Others 
brought their rods two parts dry, and 
the third green; and were also placed 
by themselves. 

9 Others delivered up their rods less 
dry (for there was but a very little, 
to wit, their tops dry), but they had 
clefts, and these were set in like 
manner by themselves. In the rods 
of others there was but a little 
green, and the rest dry; and these 
were set aside by themselves. 

10 Others came, and brought their 
rods green as they had received 
them, and the greatest part of the 
people brought their rods thus; and 
the messenger greatly rejoiced at 

these, and they also were put apart 
by themselves. 

11 Others brought in their rods not 
only green, but full of branches; and 
these were set aside, being also re- 
ceived by the angel with great joy. 
Others brought their rods green with 
branches, and those also some fruit 
upon them. 

12 They who had such rods, were 
very cheerful; and the angel himself 
took great joy at them; nor was the 
shepherd that stood with me, less 
pleased with them. 

13 Then the angel of the Lord com- 
manded crowns to be brought, and 
the crowns were brought made of 
palms; and the angel crowned those 
men in whose rods he found the 
young branches with fruit, and com- 
manded them to go into the tower. 

14 He also sent those into the 
tower, in whose hands he found 
branches without fruit, giving a seal 
unto them. For they had the same 
garment, that is, one white as snow; 
with which he bade them go into the 
tower And so he did to those who 
returned their rods green as they had 
received them; giving them a white 
garment, and so sent them away to 
go into the tower. 

15 Having done this, he said to the 
shepherd that was with me, I go my 
way; but do thou send these within 
the walls, every one into the place in 
which he has deserved to dwell; ex- 
amining first their rods, but examine 
them diligently that no one deceive 
thee; and if any one shall escape 
thee, I will try them upon the altar. 
Having said this to the shepherd, he 

16 After he was gone, the shepherd 
said unto me; Let us take the rods 
from them, and plant them; if per- 
chance they may grow green again. I 


H E R M A S 

said unto him; Sir, how can those dry 
rods ever grow green again? 

17 He answered me; That tree, is a 
willow, and always loves to live. If 
therefore these rods shall be planted, 
and receive a little moisture, many 
of them will recover themselves. 

18 Wherefore I will try, and will 
pour water upon them, and if any of 
them can live, I will rejoice with 
them; but if not, at least by this 
means I shall be found not to have 
neglected my part. 

19 Then he commanded me to call 
them; and they all came unto him, 
every one in the rank in which he 
stood, and gave him their rods; 
which having received he planted 
every one of them in their several 

20 And after he had planted them 
all, he poured much water upon 
them, insomuch that they were 
covered with water, and did not ap- 
pear above it. Then when he had 
watered them, he said unto me; Let 
us depart, and after a little time we 
will return and visit them. 

21 For he who created this tree, 
would have all those live that re- 
ceived rods from it. And I hope now 
that these rods are thus watered, 
many of them receiving in the mois- 
ture, will recover: 

22 I said unto him, Sir, tell me what 
this tree denotes? For I am greatly 
astonished, that after so many 
branches have been cut off, it seems 
still to be whole: nor does there any 
thing the less of it appear to remain, 
which greatly amazes me. 

23 He answered, Hearken. This 
great tree which covers the plains 
and the mountains, and all the earth, 
is the law of God, published 
throughout the whole world. 

24 Now this law is the Son of God, 
who is preached to all the ends of 

the earth. The people that stand un- 
der its shadow, are those which have 
heard his preaching, and believed. 

25 The great and venerable angel 
which you saw, was Michael who had 
the power over his people, and gov- 
erns them. For he has planted the 
law in the hearts of those who have 
believed: and therefore he visits 
them to whom lie has given the law, 
to see if they have kept it. 

26 And he examines every one's rod; 
and of those, many that are 
weakened: for those rods are the law 
of the Lord. Then he discerns all 
those who have not kept the law, 
knowing the place of every one of 

27 I said unto him, Sir, why did he 
send away some to the tower, and 
left others here to you? He replied, 
those who have transgressed the law, 
which they received from him, are 
left in my power, that they may re- 
pent of their sins: but they who ful- 
filled this law and kept it, are under 
his power. 

28 But who then, said I, are those, 
who went into the tower crowned? 
He replied, all such as having striven 
with the devil, have overcome him, 
are crowned: and they are those, who 
have suffered hard things, that they 
might keep the law. 

29 But they who gave up their rods 
green, and with young branches, but 
without fruit, have indeed endured 
trouble for the same law, but have 
not suffered death; neither have they 
denied their holy law. 

30 They who delivered up their rods 
green as they received them, are 
those who were modest and just, and 
have lived with a very pure mind, 
and kept the commandments of 


H E R M A S 

31 The rest thou shalt know, when I 
shall have considered those rods 
which I have planted and watered. 

32 After a few days we returned, 
and in the same place stood that 
glorious angel, and I stood by him. 
Then he said unto me; Gird thyself 
with a towel, and serve me. 

33 And I girded myself with a clean 
towel, which was made of coarse 
cloth. And when he saw me girded, 
and ready to minister unto him, he 
said, Call those men whose rods have 
been planted, every one in his order 
as he gave them. 

34 And he brought me into the 
field, and I called them all, and they 
all stood ready in their several ranks. 
Then he said unto them; let every 
one pluck up his rod, and bring it 
unto me. And first they delivered 
theirs, whose rods had been dry and 

35 And those whose rods still con- 
tinued so, he commanded to stand 
apart. Then they came whose rods 
had been dry but not rotten. Some 
of these delivered, in their rods 
green; others dry and rotten, as if 
they had been touched by the moth. 

36 Those who gave them up green, 
he commanded to stand apart: but 
those whose rods were dry and rot- 
ten, he caused to stand with the first 
sort. Then came they whose rods had 
been half dry, and cleft: many of 
these gave up their rods green, and 

37 Others delivered them up green 
with branches, like unto theirs who 
went crowned into the tower. Others 
delivered them up dry, but not rot- 
ten; and some gave them up as they 
were before, all dry, and cleft. 

38 Every one of these he ordered to 
stand apart; some by themselves, 
others in their respective ranks. 

32 Then came they whose rods had 
been green, but cleft. These de- 
livered their rods altogether green, 
and stood in their own order. And 
the shepherd rejoiced at these, be- 
cause they were all changed, and free 
from their clefts. 

40 Then they gave in their rods, 
who had them half green and half 
dry. Of these some were found 
wholly green, others half dry: others 
green, with young shoots. And all 
these were sent away, every one to 
his proper rank. 

41 Then they gave up their rods, 
who had them before two parts 
green, and the third dry. Many of 
those gave in their rods green; many 
half dry; the rest dry but not rotten. 
So these were sent away, each to his 
proper place. 

42 Then came they who before had 
their rods two parts dry and the 
third green; many of these delivered 
up their rods half dry, others dry 
and rotten; others half dry and cleft: 
but few green. And all these were set 
every one in his own rank. 

43 Then they reached in their rods, 
in which there was before but a little 
green, and the rest dry. Their rods 
were for the most part found green, 
having little boughs, with fruit upon 
them; and the rest altogether green. 

44 And the shepherd upon sight of 
these rejoiced exceedingly, because 
he had found them thus; and they 
also went to their proper orders. 

45 Now after he had examined all 
their rods, he said unto me, I told 
thee that this tree loved life thou 
seest how many have repented, and 
attained unto salvation. Sir, said I, I 
see it. 

46 That thou mightest know saith 
he, that the goodness and mercy of 
the Lord is great, and to be had in 
honour; who gave his spirit to them 


H E R M A S 

that were found worthy of repent- 

47 I answered, Sir, why then did not 
all of them repent? He replied, 
Those whose minds the Lords 
foresaw would be pure, and that they 
would serve him with all their hearts, 
to them he gave repentance. 

48 But for those whose deceit and 
wickedness he beheld, and perceived 
that they would not truly return unto 
him; to them he denied any return 
unto repentance, lest they should 
again blaspheme his law with wicked 

49 I said unto him; Now, Sir, make 
known unto me, what is the place of 
every one of those, who have given 
up their rods, and what their por- 
tion; that when they may have not 
kept their seal entire, but have 
wasted the seal which they received, 
shall hear and believe these thins, 
and may acknowledge their evil 
deeds and repent; 

50 And receiving again their seal 
from you, may give glory to God, 
that he was moved with compassion 
towards them, and sent you to renew 
their spirits. 

51 Hearken, said he; they whose 
rods have been found and rotten, 
and as it were touch with the moth; 
are the deserters and the betrayers 
of the church; 

52 Who with the rest of their 
crimes, have also blasphemed the 
Lord, and denied his name when he 
had called upon them. Therefore all 
these are dead unto God and thou 
seest that none of them have repen- 
ted, although they have heard my 
commands which thou bast delivered 
unto them. From these men there- 
fore life is far distant. 

53 They also who have delivered up 
their rods dry, but not rotten, have 
not been far from them. For they 

have been counterfeits, and brought 
in evil doctrines, and have perverted 
the servants of God, especially those 
who had sinned; not suffering them 
to return unto repentance, but keep- 
ing them back by their false doc- 

54 These therefore have hope; and 
thou seest that many of them have 
repented, since the time that thou 
hast laid my commands before them; 
and many more will yet repent. But 
they, that shall not repent; shall lose 
both repentance and life. 

55 But they that have repented, 
their place is begun to be within the 
first walls, and some of them are 
even gone into the tower. Thou seest 
therefore, said he, that in the repent- 
ance of sinners there is life; but for 
those who repent not, death is pre- 

56 Hear now concerning those who 
gave in their rods half dry and full 
of clefts. Those whose rods were 
only half dry, are the doubtful; for 
they are neither living nor dead. 

57 But they who delivered in their 
rods, not only half dry but also full 
of clefts, are both doubtful and evil 
speakers; who detract from those 
that are absent, and have never peace 
among themselves, and who envy 
one another. 

58 Howbeit, to those also repent- 
ance is offered; for thou seest that 
some of these have repented. 

59 Now all those of this kind who 
have quickly repented, shall have a 
place in the tower; and they who 
have been more slow in their repent- 
ance, shall dwell within the walls: 
but they that shall not repent, and 
shall continue on in their wicked do- 
ings, shall die the death. 

60 As for those who had their rods 
green, but yet cleft; they are such as 
were always faithful and good, but 


H E R M A S 

they had some envy and strife among 
themselves concerning dignity and 

61 Now all such as are vain, and 
without understanding, contend with 
one another about these things. 

62 Nevertheless, seeing they are 
otherwise good, if when they shall 
hear these commands they shall 
amend themselves, and shall at my 
persuasion suddenly repent; they 
shall at last dwell in the tower, like 
those who have truly and worthily 

63 But if any one shall again return 
to his dissension; he shall be shut 
out from the tower, and shall lose 
his life. For the life of those who 
keep the commandments of the 
Lord, consists in doing what they are 
commanded; not in principality, or in 
any other dignity. 

64 For by forbearance and humility 
of mind, men shall attain unto life; 
but by seditions and contempt of the 
law, they shall purchase death unto 

65 They who in their rods had half 
dry and half green, are those who 
are engaged in many affairs of the 
world, and are not joined to the 
saints. For which cause half of them 
liveth, and half is dead. 

66 Wherefore many of these since 
the time that they have heard my 
commands, have repented, and begun 
to dwell in the tower. But some of 
them have wholly fallen away; to 
these there is no more place for re- 

67 For by reason of their present 
interests, they have blasphemed and 
denied God: and for this wickedness 
they have lost life. And of these 
many are still in doubt, yet these 
may return; and if they shall quickly 
repent, they shall have a place in the 
tower; but if they shall be more 

slow, they shall dwell within the 
walls; but if they shall not repent, 
they shall die. 

68 As for those who had two parts 
of their rods green, and the third 
dry; they have by manifold ways 
denied the Lord. Of these many have 
repented, and found a place in the 
tower: and many have altogether de- 
parted from God. These have utterly 
lost life. 

69 And some being in a doubtful 
state, have raise up dissensions: 
these may yet return, if they shall 
suddenly repent and not continue in 
their lusts; but if they shall continue 
in their evil-doing they shall die. 

70 They who gave in their rods two 
parts dry, and the other been, are 
those who have indeed been faithful, 
but withal rich and full of good 
things; and thereupon upon have de- 
sired to be famous among the hea- 
then which are without, and have 
thereby fallen into great pride, and 
begun to aim at high matters, and to 
forsake the truth. 

71 Nor were they joined to the 
saints, but lived with the heathen; 
and this life seemed the more pleas- 
ant to them. Howbeit they have not 
departed from God, but continued in 
the faith; only they have not wrought 
the works of faith. 
72 Many therefore of these have re- 
pented; and begun to dwell in the 
tower. Yet others still living among 
the heathen, people, and being lifted 
up with their vanities, have utterly 
fallen away from God, and followed 
the works and wickedness of the 
heathen. These kind of men there- 
fore are reckoned among strangers to 
the Gospel. 

73 Others of these began to be 
doubtful in their minds; despairing 
by reason of their wicked doings 
ever to attain unto salvation Others 


H E R M A S 

being thus made doubtful, did 
moreover stir up dissensions. 

74 To these therefore, and to those 
who by reason of their doings are 
become doubtful, there is still hope 
of return; but they must repent 
quickly, that their place may be in 
the tower. But they that repent not, 
and continue still in their pleasures, 
are nigh unto death. 

75 As for those who gave in their 
rods green, excepting their tops, 
which only were dry, and had clefts; 
these were always good, and faithful, 
and upright before God: nevertheless 
they sinned a little, by reason of 
their empty pleasures and trifling 
thoughts which they had within 

76 Wherefore many of them when 
they heard my words, repented forth- 
with, and began to dwell in the 
tower. Nevertheless some grew 
doubtful, and others to their doubt- 
ful minds added dissensions. To 
these therefore there is still hope of 
return, because they were always 
good; but they shall not hardly be 

77 As for those, lastly, who gave in 
their rods dry, their tops only excep- 
ted, which alone were green; they are 
such as have believed indeed in God, 
but have lived in wickedness; yet 
without departing from God: having 
always willingly borne the name of 
the Lord, and readily received into 
their houses the servants of God. 

78 Wherefore hearing these things 
they returned, and without delay re- 
pented, and lived in all righteous- 
ness. And some of them suffered 
death: others readily underwent 
many trials, being mindful of their 
evil doings. 

79 If And when he had ended his 
explications of all the rods, he said 
unto me, Go, and say unto all men 

that they repent, and they shall live 
unto God; because the Lord being 
moved with great clemency hath sent 
me to preach repentance unto all: 

80 Even unto those who by reason 
of their evil doings, deserve not to 
attain unto salvation. But the Lord 
will by patient, and keep the invita- 
tion that was made by his Son. 

81 I said unto him, sir, I hope that 
all when they shall hear these things, 
will repent. For I trust that everyone 
acknowledging his crimes, and taking 
up the fear of the Lord, will return 
unto repentance. 

82 He said unto me, Whosoever 
shall repent with all their hearts, and 
cleanse themselves from all the evils 
that I have before mentioned, and 
not add anything more to their sins, 
shall receive from the Lord cure of 
their former iniquities, if they do 
not make any doubt of these com- 
mands, and shall live unto God. 

83 But they that shall continue to 
add to their transgressions, and still 
converse with the lusts of the 
present world, shall condemn them- 
selves unto death. But do thou walk 
in these commands, and whosoever 
shall Walk in these, and exercise 
them rightly, shall live unto God. 

84 And having showed me all these 
things, he said; I will show thee the 
rest in a few days. 


The greatest mysteries of the militant and 
triumphant Church which is to be built. 

AFTER I had Written the Com- 
mands and similitudes of the Shep- 
herd, the Angel of Repentance came 
unto me, and said to me, I will show 
thee all those things which the Spirit 
spake with thee under the figure of 
the church. For that Spirit is the Son 
of God. 


H E R M A S 

2 And because thou wert weak in 
body, it was not declared unto thee 
by the angel, until thou wert 
strengthened by the Spirit, and in- 
creased in force, that thou mightest 
also see the angel: 

3 For then indeed the building of 
the tower was very well and glori- 
ously shown unto thee by the 
church; nevertheless thou sawest all 
things shown unto thee as it were by 
a virgin. 

4 But now thou art enlightened by 
the angel, and yet by the same Spirit. 
But thou must consider all things di- 
ligently; for therefore am I sent into 
thy house by that venerable messen- 
ger, that when thou shalt have seen 
all things powerfully, thou mayest 
not be afraid as before. 

5 And he led me to the height of a 
mountain in Arcadia, and we sat 
upon its top. And he showed me a 
great plain, and about it twelve 
mountains in different figures. 

6 The first was black as soot. The 
second was smooth, without herbs. 
The third was full of thorns and 
thistles. The fourth had herbs half 
dried; of which the upper part was 
green, but that next the root was 
dry; and some of the herbs, when 
the sun grew hot, were dry. 

7 The fifth mountain was very 
rugged; but yet had green herbs. The 
sixth mountain was full of clefts, 
some lesser, and some greater; and 
in these clefts grew grass, not flour- 
ishing, but which seemed to be with- 

8 The seventh mountain had de- 
lightful pasture, and was wholly 
fruitful; and all kinds of cattle, and 
of the birds of heaven; fed upon it; 
and the more they fed on it, the 
more and better did the grass grow. 

9 The eighth mountain was full of 
fountains, and from those fountains 

were watered all kinds of the 
creatures of Cod. The ninth moun- 
tain had no water at all, but was 
wholly destitute of it; and nourished 
deadly serpents, very destructive to 

10 The tenth mountain was full of 
tall trees, and altogether shady; and 
under the shade of them lay cattle 
resting and chewing the cud. 

11 The eleventh mountain was full 
of the thickest trees, and those trees 
seemed to be loaded with several 
sorts of fruits; that whosoever saw 
them could not choose but desire to 
eat of their fruit. 

12 The twelfth mountain was alto- 
gether white, and of a most pleasant 
aspect, and itself gave a most excel- 
lent beauty to itself. 

13 In the middle of the plain he 
showed me a huge white rock, which 
rose out of the plain, and the rock 
was higher than those mountains, 
and was square; so that it seemed 
capable of supporting the whole 

14 It looked to me to be old, yet it 
had in it a new gate, which seemed 
to have been newly hewn out of it. 
Now that gate was bright beyond the 
sun itself; insomuch, that I greatly 
wondered at its light. 

15 About the gate stood twelve vir- 
gins; of which four that stood at the 
corners of the gate, seemed to me to 
be the chiefest, although the rest 
were also of worth: and they stood 
in the four parts of the gate. 

16 It added also to the grace of 
those virgins, that they stood in 
pairs, clothed with linen garments, 
and decently girded, their right arms 
being at liberty, as if they were 
about to lift up some burthen; for so 
they were adorned, and were exceed- 
ing cheerful and ready. 


H E R M A S 

17 When I saw this, I wondered with 
myself to see such great and noble 
things. And again I admired upon 
the account of those virgins, that 
they were so handsome and delicate; 
and stood with such firmness and 
constancy, as if they would carry the 
whole heaven. 

18 And as I was thinking thus within 
myself, the shepherd said unto me; 
What thickest thou within thyself? 
Why art thou disquieted, and fillest 
thyself with care? 

19 Do not seem to consider, as if 
thou wert wise, what thou doest not 
understand, but pray unto the Lord, 
that thou mayest have ability to un- 
derstand it. What is to come thou 
canst not understand, but thou seest 
that which is before thee. 

20 Be not therefore disquieted at 
those things which thou canst not 
see; but get the understanding of 
those which thou seest. 

21 Forbear to be curious; and I will 
show thee all things that I ought to 
declare unto thee: but first consider 
what yet remains. 

22 And when he had said this unto 
me I looked up, and behold I saw six 
tall and venerable men coming; their 
countenances were all alike, and they 
called a certain multitude of men; 
and they who came at their call were 
also tall and stout. 

23 And those six commanded them 
to build a certain tower over that 
gate. And immediately there began to 
be a great noise of those men run- 
ning here and there about the gate, 
who were come together to build the 

24 But those virgins which stood 
about the gate perceived that the 
building of the tower was to be 
hastened by them. And they 
stretched out their hands, as if they 

were to receive somewhat from them 
to do. 

25 Then those six men commanded, 
that they should lift up stones out of 
a certain deep place, and prepare 
them for the building of the tower. 
And there were lifted up ten white 
stones, square, and not cut round. 

26 Then those six men called the 
ten virgins to them, and commanded 
them to carry all the stones that 
were to be put into the building, and 
having carried them through the gate 
to deliver them to those that were 
about to build the tower. 

27 Immediately the virgins began all 
of them together to lift up those 
stones, that were before taken out of 
the deep. 

28 And they who also stood about 
the gate did carry stones in such a 
manner, that those stones which 
seemed to be the strongest were laid 
at the corners, and the rest were put 
into the sides; 

29 And thus they carried all the 
stones, and bringing them through 
the gate delivered them to the build- 
ers, as they had been commanded: 
who receiving them at their hands, 
built with them. 

30 But this building was made upon 
that great rock, and over the gate; 
and by these the whole tower was 
supported. But the building of the 
ten stones filled the whole gate, 
which began to be made for the 
foundation of that tower. 

31 After those ten stones did five 
and twenty others rise up out of the 
deep; and these were placed in the 
building of the same tower; being 
lifted up by those virgins, as the oth- 
ers had been before. 

32 After these did fire and thirty 
others rise up; and these were also in 
like manner fitted into the same 
work. Then forty other stones were 


H E R M A S 

brought up, and all these were added 
unto the building of that tower. 

33 So there began to be four ranks 
in the foundation of that tower; and 
the stones ceased to rise out of the 
deep; and they also which built res- 
ted a little. 

34 Again, those six men commanded 
the multitude, that they should bring 
stones out of those twelve moun- 
tains to the building of the same 

35 So they cut out of all the moun- 
tains stones of divers colours, and 
brought them and gave them to the 
virgins; which when they had re- 
ceived they carried them, and de- 
livered them into the building of the 

36 In which when they were built 
they became white, and different 
from what they were before; for they 
were all alike, and did change their 
former colours. And some were 
reached up by the men themselves, 
which when they came into the 
building, continued such is they were 
put in. 

37 These neither became white, nor 
different from what they were be- 
fore; because they were not carried 
by the virgins through the gate. 
Wherefore these stones were dis- 
agreeable in the building; which, 
when these six men perceived they 
commanded them to be removed, 
and put again in the place from 
which they were brought. 

38 And they said to those who 
brought these stones; Do not ye 
reach up to us any stones for this 
building, but lay them down by the 
tower, that these virgins may carry 
them and reach them to us. 

39 For unless they shall be carried 
by these virgins through this gate, 
they cannot change their colours: 
therefore do not labour in vain. 

40 So the building that day was 
done; howbeit the tower was not fin- 
ished, for it was afterwards to be 
built; therefore now also there was 
some delay made of it. 

41 And these six men commanded 
those that built to depart, and as it 
were to rest for some time; but they 
ordered those virgins that they 
should not depart from the tower; so 
now they seemed to me to be left for 
the guarding of it. 

42 When all were departed, I said 
unto the shepherd; Sir, why is not 
the building of the tower finished? 
Because it cannot, said he, be fin- 
ished until its Lord comes, and ap- 
proves of the building; that if he 
shall find any stones in it that are 
not good they may be changed; for 
this tower is built according to his 

43 Sir, said I, I would know what 
the building of this tower signifies; 
as also I would be informed con- 
cerning this rock, and this gate; 

44 And concerning the mountains, 
and the virgins, and the stones that 
did rise out of the deep, and were 
not cut, but put into the building 
just as they came forth; and why the 
ten stones were first laid in the 
foundation; then the twenty-five, 
then thirty- five; then forty? 

45 Also concerning those stones 
that were put into the building, and 
again taken out, and carried back 
into their places? Fulfil, I pray, the 
desire of my soul as to all these 
things, and manifest all unto me. 

46 And he said unto me; If thou 
shalt not be dull, thou shall know all, 
and shall see all the other things that 
are about to happen in this, tower: 
and shall understand diligently all 
these similitudes. 

47 And after a few days we came 
into the same place where we had sat 


H E R M A S 

before; and he said unto me, Let us 
go unto the tower; for the Lord of it 
will come and examine it. 

48 So we came thither, and found 
none but those virgins there. And he 
asked them whether the Lord of that 
tower was come thither? And they 
replied, that he would be there 
presently to examine the building. 

49 After a very little while I saw a 
great multitude of men coming, and 
in the middle of them a man so tall, 
that he surpassed the tower in 

50 About him were those six, who 
before commanded in the building, 
and all the rest of those who had 
built that tower, and many others of 
great dignity: and the virgins that 
kept the tower ran to meet him, and 
kissed him, and began to walk near 
unto him. 

51 But he examined the building 
with so much care, that he handled 
every stone; and struck every one 
with a rod which he held in his hand: 

52 Of which some being so struck 
turned black as soot; others were 
rough; some looked as if they had 
cracks in them; others seemed 
maimed; some neither black nor 
white; some looked sharp, and 
agreed not with the other stones, 
and others were full of spots. 

53 These were the several kinds of 
those stones which were not found 
proper in the building; all which the 
Lord commanded to be taken out of 
the tower, and laid near it, and other 
stones to be brought and put in their 

54 And they that built, asked him 
from which of the mountains he 
would have stones brought to put in 
the place of those that were laid 
aside. But he forbad them to bring 
any from the mountains, and com- 

manded that they should take them 
out of a certain field that was near. 

55 So they digged in the field, and 
found many bright square stones, 
and some also that were round. 
Howbeit, all that were found in that 
field were taken away, and carried 
through the gate by those virgins; 
and those of them that were square 
were fitted and put into the places 
of those that were pulled out. 

56 But the round ones were not put 
into the building, because they were 
hard, and it would have required too 
much time to cut them but they were 
placed about the tower, as if they 
should hereafter be cut square, and 
put into the building; for they were 
very white. 

57 When he who was chief in dig- 
nity, and lord of the whole tower 
saw this, he called to him the shep- 
herd that was with me, and gave him 
the stones that were rejected and laid 
about the tower, and said unto him; 
cleanse these stones with all care, 
and fit them into the building of the 
tower, that they may agree with the 
rest; but those that will not suit with 
the rest, cast away afar off from the 

58 When he had thus commanded 
him, he departed, with all those that 
came with him to the tower but 
those virgins still stood about the 
tower to keep it. 

59 And I said unto that shepherd; 
How can these stones, seeing they 
have been rejected, return into the 
building of this tower? He replied; I 
will cut off the greatest part from 
these stones, and will add them to 
the building, and they will agree with 
the rest. 

60 And I said, Sir, how will they be 
able to fill the same place, when they 
shall be so much cut away? He 
answered; They that shall be found 


H E R M A S 

too little shall be put into the middle 
of the building, and the greater shall 
be placed without, and keep them in. 

61 When he had said thus unto me, 
he added; Let us go, and after three 
days we will return, and I will put 
these stones, being cleansed, into the 

62 For all these that are about the 
tower must be cleansed, lest the mas- 
ter of the house chance to come 
upon the sudden, and find those 
which are about the tower unclean; 
and be so exasperated that these 
stones should never be put into the 
building of this tower, and I shall be 
looked upon to have been unmindful 
of my master's commands. 

63 When therefore we came after 
three days to the tower, he said unto 
me; Let us examine all these stones, 
and let us see which of them may go 
into the building. I answered, Sir, let 
us see. 

64 And first of all we began to con- 
sider those which had been black; 
for they were found just such as they 
were when they were pulled out of 
the tower: wherefore he commanded 
them to be removed from the tower 
and put by themselves. 

65 Then he examined those which 
had been rough; and commanded 
many of those to be cut round, and 
to be fitted by the virgins into the 
building of the tower; so they took 
them, and fitted them into the 
middle of the building and he com- 
manded the rest to be laid by with 
the black ones, for they also were 
become black. 

66 Next he considered those which 
were full of cracks, and many of 
those also he ordered to be pared 
away, and so to be added to the rest 
of the building, by the came virgins. 

67 These were placed without be- 
cause they were found entire; but the 

residue through the multitude of 
their cracks could not be reformed, 
and therefore were cast away from 
the building of the tower. 

68 Then he considered those that 
had been maimed; many of these had 
cracks, and were become black; oth- 
ers had large clefts; these he com- 
manded to be placed with those that 
were reected; 

69 But the rest being cleansed and 
reformed, he commanded to be put 
into the building. These therefore 
those virgins took up, and fitted into 
the middle of the building, because 
they were but weak. 

70 After these he examined those 
which were found half white and 
half black, and many of those which 
were now black; these also he 
ordered to be laid among those that 
were cast away. 

71 The rest were found altogether 
white; those were taken up by the 
virgins, and fitted into the same 
tower: and they were put in the out- 
side, because they were found entire; 
that so they might keep in those that 
were placed in the middle, for noth- 
ing was cut off from them. 

72 Next he looked upon those 
which had been hard and sharp; but 
few of these were made use of, be- 
cause they could not be cut, for they 
were found very hard: but the rest 
were formed, and fitted by the vir- 
gins into the middle of the building, 
because they were more weak. 

73 Then he considered those which 
had spots; of these a few were found 
black, and they were carried to their 
fellows. The rest were white and en- 
tire; and they were fitted by the vir- 
gins into the building, and placed in 
the outside, by reason of their 

74 After this he came to consider 
those stones which were white and 


H E R M A S 

round: and he said unto me, What 
shall we do with these stones? I 
answered, Sir, I cannot tell. 

75 He replied, Canst thou think of 
nothing then for these? I answered, 
Sir, I understand not this art; neither 
am I a stone-cutter, nor can I tell 

76 And he said, seest thou not that 
they are very round? Now to make 
them square, I must cut off a great 
deal from them; howbeit, it is neces- 
sary that some of these should go 
into the building of the tower. 

77 I answered; If it be necessary, 
why do you perplex yourself, and not 
rather choose, if you have any choice 
among them, and fit them into the 

78 Upon this he chose out the 
largest and brightest, and squared 
them; which, when he had done the 
virgins took them up, and fitted 
them into the building. 

79 And the rest that remained were 
carried back into the same field from 
which they were taken; howbeit, they 
were not cast away; because, said he, 
there is yet a little wanting to this 
tower, which is to be built; and per- 
haps the Lord will have these stones 
fitted into this building, because 
they are exceeding white. 

80 Then there were called twelve 
very stately women, clothed with a 
black garment, girded, and their 
shoulders free, and their hair loose. 
These seemed to me to be country 

81 And the shepherd commanded 
them to take up those stones which 
were cast out of the building, and 
carry them back to the mountains 
out of which they were taken. 

82 And they took them all up joy- 
fully, and carried them back to their 
places from whence they had been 

83 When not one stone remained 
about the tower, he said unto me, 
Let us go about this tower, and see 
whether anything be wanting to it. 

84 We began therefore to go round 
about it; and when he saw that it was 
handsomely built, he began to be 
very glad; for it was so beautifully 
framed, that any one that had seen it 
must have been in love with the 

85 For it seemed to be all but one 
stone, nor did a joint any where ap- 
pear; but it looked as if it had all 
been cut out of one rock. 

86 And when I diligently considered 
what a tower it was, I was extremely 
pleased: and he said unto me, Bring 
hither some lime and little shells, 
that I may fill up the spaces of those 
stones that were taken out of the 
building, and put in again; for all 
things about the tower must be made 

87 And I did as he commanded me, 
and brought them unto him and he 
said unto me, Be ready to help me, 
and this work will quickly be fin- 

88 He therefore filled up the spaces 
of those stones, and commanded the 
place about the tower to be cleansed. 

89 Then those virgins took besoms, 
and cleansed all the place around, 
and took away all the rubbish, and 
threw water on; which being done, 
the palace became delightful, and the 
tower beauteous. 

90 Then he said unto me, All is now 
clean if the Lord should come to 
finish the tower, he will find nothing 
whereby to complain of us. 

91 When he had said this he would 
have departed. But I laid hold on his 
bag, and began to entreat him for 
the Lord's sake, that he would ex- 
plain to me all things that he had 
shown me. 


H E R M A S 

92 He said unto me, I have at 
present a little business; but I will 
suddenly explain all things unto thee. 
Tarry here for me till I come. 

93 I said unto him, Sir, what shall I 
do here alone? He answered, Thou 
art not alone, seeing all these virgins 
are with thee. 

94 I said, Sir, deliver me then unto 
them. Then he called them and said 
unto them, I commend this man unto 
you until I shall come; 

95 So I remained with those virgins: 
now they were cheerful and cour- 
teous unto me; especially the four, 
which seemed to be the chieftest 
among them. 

96 Then those virgins said unto me, 
that shepherd will not return hither 
to-day. I said unto them, What then 
shall I do? They answered, Tarry for 
him till the evening, if perhaps he 
may come and speak with thee; but 
if not, yet thou shalt continue with 
us till he does come. 

97 I said unto them, I will tarry for 
him till evening; but if he comes not 
by that time, I will go home, and re- 
turn hither again the next morning. 

98 They answered me, As thou art 
delivered unto us, thou mayest not 
depart from us. I said, Where shall I 

99 They replied, Thou shalt sleep 
with us as a brother, not as a hus- 
band; for thou art our brother, and 
we are ready from henceforth to 
dwell with thee; for thou art very 
dear to as. 

100 Howbeit I was ashamed to con- 
tinue with them. But she that seemed 
to be the chieftest amongst them, 
embraced me, and began to kiss me. 
And the rest when they saw that I 
was kissed by her, began also to kiss 
me as a brother; and led me about 
the tower, and played with me. 

101 Some of them also sung psalms, 
others made up the chorus with 
them. But I walked about the tower 
with them, rejoicing silently, and 
seeming to myself to be grown 
young again. 

102 When the evening came on, I 
would forthwith have gone home, 
but they withheld me, and suffered 
me not to depart. Wherefore I con- 
tinued with them that night near the 
same tower. 

103 So they spread their linen gar- 
ments upon the ground; and placed 
me in the middle, nor did they any- 
thing else, only they prayed. 

104 I also prayed with them without 
ceasing, nor less than they. Who, 
when they saw me pray in that man- 
ner, rejoiced greatly: and I continued 
there with their till the next day. 

105 And when we had worshipped 
God, then the shepherd came and 
said unto them: You have done no 
injury to this man? They answered, 
Ask him. I said unto him, Sir, I have 
received a great deal of satisfaction 
in that I have remained with them. 

106 And he said unto me, How didst 
thou sup? I answered, Sir, I feasted 
the whole night upon the words of 
the Lord. They received thee well 
then, said he? I said, Sir, very well. 

107 He answered, Wilt thou now 
learn what thou didst desire? I 
replied, Sir, I will: and first I pray 
thee that thou shouldest show me all 
things in the order that I asked 

108 He answered, I will do all as 
thou wouldst have me, nor will I 
hide any thing from thee. 

109 First of all, Sir, said I, tell me, 
what this rock and this gate denote? 
Hearken, said he; this rock, and this 
gate, are the Son of God. I replied, 
Sir, how can that be; seeing the rock 
is old, but the gate new? 


H E R M A S 

110 Hear, said he, O foolish man! 
and understand. The Son of God is 
indeed more ancient than any 
creature; insomuch that he was in 
council with his Father at the cre- 
ation oft all things. 

111 But the gate is therefore new, 
because he appeared in the last days 
in the fullness of time; that they 
who shall attain unto salvation, may 
by it enter into the kingdom of God. 

112 You have seen, said he, those 
stones which were carried through 
the gate, how they were placed in the 
building of the tower; but that those 
which were not carried through the 
gate, were sent away into their own 

113 I answered, sir, I saw it. Thus, 
said he, no man shall enter into the 
kingdom of God, but he who shall 
take upon him the name of the Son 
of God. 

114 For if you would enter into any 
city, and that city should he encom- 
passed with a wall, and had only one 
gate, could you enter into that city 
except by that gate? 

115 I answered, Sir, how could I do 
otherwise? As therefore, said he, 
there would be no other way of en- 
tering into that city but by its gate, 
so neither can any one enter into the 
kingdom of God, but only by the 
name of his Son, who is most dear 
unto him. 

116 And he said unto me, Didst 
thou see the multitude of those that 
built that tower? Sir, said I, I saw it. 
He answered, All those are the an- 
gels, venerable in their dignity, 

117 With those is the Lord encom- 
passed as with a wall: but the gate is 
the Son of God, who is the only way 
of coming unto God. For no man 
shall go to God, but by his Son. 

118 Thou sawest also, said he, the 
six men, and in the middle of them 

that venerable great man, who 
walked about the tower, and rejected 
the stones out of the tower? 

119 Sir, said I, I saw them. He 
answered, that tall man was the Son 
of God; and those six were his an- 
gels of most eminent dignity, which 
stand about him on the right hand 
and on the left. 

120 Of these excellent angels none 
comes in unto God without him. He 
added, Whosoever there, fore shall 
not take upon him his name, he shall 
nor enter into the kingdom of God. 

121 Then I said, What is this tower? 
This, said he, is the church. And 
what, Sir, are these virgins? He said 
unto me, These are the holy spirits, 
for no man can enter into the king- 
dom of God, except these clothe 
him with their garment, 

122 For it will avail thee nothing to 
take up the name of the Son of God, 
unless thou shalt also receive their 
garment from them. For these vir- 
gins are the powers of the Son of 
God. So shall a man in vain bear his 
name, unless he shall be also endued 
with his powers. 

123 And he said unto me, sawest 
thou those stones that were cast 
away? They bore indeed the name, 
but put not on their garment. I said, 
Sir, what is their garment? Their 
very names, said he, are their gar- 

124 Therefore whosoever beareth 
the name of the Son of God, ought 
to bear their names also; for the Son 
of God also himself beareth their 

125 As for those stones, continued 
he, which being delivered by their 
hands, thou sawest remain in the 
building, they were clothed with 
their power; for which cause thou 
seest the whole tower of the same 


H E R M A S 

colour with the rock, and made as it 
were of one stone. 

126 So also those who have believed 
in God by his Son, have put on his 
spirit. Behold there shall be one 
spirit, and one body, and one colour 
of their garments; and all they shall 
attain this, who shall bear the names 
of these virgins. 

127 And I said, Sir, why then were 
those stones cast away which were 
rejected, seeing they also were car- 
ried through the gate, and delivered 
by the hands of these virgins into 
the building of this tower? 

128 Seeing, said he thou takest care 
to inquire diligently into all things, 
hear also concerning those stones 
which were rejected. All these re- 
ceived the name of the Son of God, 
and with that the power of these vir- 

129 Having therefore received these 
spirits, they were perfected, and 
brought into the number of the ser- 
vants of God; and they began to be 
one body, and to have one garment, 
for they were endued with the same 
righteousness, which they alike exer- 

130 But after that they beheld those 
women which thou sawest clothed 
with a black garment, with their 
shoulders at liberty and their hair 
loose; they fixed their desires upon 
them, being tempted with their 
beauty; and were clothed with their 
power, and cast off the clothing of 
the virgins: 

131 Therefore were they cast off 
from the house of God, and de- 
livered to those women. But they 
that were not corrupted with their 
beauty, remained in the house of 
God. This, said he, is the significa- 
tion of those stones which were re- 

132 And I said, sir, what if any of 
these men shall repent, and cast 
away their desire of those women, 
and be converted, and return to 
these virgins, and put on again their 
virtue; shall they not enter into the 
house of God? 

133 They shall enter, said he, if they 
shall lay aside all the works of those 
women, and shall resume the power 
of these virgins, and shall walk in 
their works. 

134 And for this cause there is a 
stop in the building, that if they 
shall repent, they may be added to 
the building of this tower; but if 
they shall not repent, that others 
may be built in their places, and so 
they may be utterly cast away. 

135 For all these things I gave 
thanks unto the Lord, that being 
moved with mercy towards all those 
upon whom his name is carried, he 
sent to us the angel of repentance to 
preside over us who have sinned 
against him; and that he has re- 
freshed our spirits which were al- 
most gone, and who had no hope of 
salvation, but are now refreshed to 
the renewal of life. 

136 Then I said, Show me now sir, 
why this tower is not built upon the 
ground, but upon a rock, and upon 
the gate? He replied, Thou art fool- 
ish, and without understanding, 
therefore thou asketh this. 

137 And I said, sir, I must needs ask 
all things of you because I under- 
stand nothing at all. For all your an- 
swers are great and excellent; and 
which a man can hardly understand. 

138 Hear, said he: The name of the 
Son of God is great and without 
bounds, and the whole world is sup- 
ported by it. If therefore, said I, 
every creature of God be sustained 
by his Son, why should he not sup- 
port those also who have been in- 


H E R M A S 

vited by him, and who carry his 
name, and walk in his command- 

139 Seest thou not, said he, that he 
doth support them, who with all 
their heart, bear his name? He there- 
fore is their foundation, and gladly 
supports those who do not deny his 
name, but willingly bear it. 

140 And I said: Sir, tell me the 
names of these virgins; and of those 
women that were clothed with the 
black garment. 

141 Hear, said he, the names of 
those virgins which are the more 
powerful, and stand at the corners 
of the gate. These are their names: 

142 The first is called Faith; the 
second Continence; the third Power; 
the fourth Patience; the rest which 
stand beneath these are, Simplicity, 
Innocence, Chastity, Cheerfulness, 
Truth, Understanding, Concord, 

143 Whosoever therefore bear these 
names, and the name of the Son of 
God, shall enter into the kingdom of 

144 Hear now, said he, the names of 
those women, which were clothed 
with the black garment. Of these, 
four are the principal: the first is 
Perfidiousness; the second, Incontin- 
ence; the third, Infidelity; the 
fourth, Pleasure. 

145 And the rest which follow are 
called thus, Sadness, Malice, Lust, 
Anger, Lying, Foolishness, Pride, and 
Hatred. The servant of God, which 
carries these spirits, shall see indeed 
the kingdom of God, but he shall 
not enter into it. 

146 But, sir, what are those stones 
which were taken out of the deep 
and fitted into the building? The ten, 
said he, which were placed at the 
foundation, are the first age; the fol- 

lowing five-and- twenty, are the 
second, of righteous men. 

147 The next thirty-five, are the 
prophets and ministers of the Lord. 
And the forty, are the Apostles and 
doctors of the preaching of the Son 
of God. 

148 And I said, sir, why did the vir- 
gins put even those stones into the 
building after they were carried 
through the gate? And he said, Be- 
cause these first carried those spir- 
its, and they departed not one from 
the other, neither the men from the 
spirits, nor the spirits from the men: 

149 But the spirits were joined to 
those men even to the day of their 
death; who if they had not had these 
spirits with them, they could not 
have been useful to the building of 
this tower. 

150 And I said, sir, show me this 
farther. He answered, What dost 
then ask? Why did these stones come 
out of the deep, and were placed 
into the building of this tower, see- 
ing that they long ago carried those 
holy spirits? 

151 It was necessary, said he, for 
them to ascend by water, that they 
might be at rest. For they could not 
otherwise enter into the kingdom of 
God, but by laying aside the mortal- 
ity of their former life. 

152 They therefore being dead, were 
nevertheless sealed with the seal of 
the Son of God, and so entered into 
the kingdom of God. 

153 For before a man receives the 
name of the Son of God, he is or- 
dained unto death; but when he re- 
ceives that seal, he is freed from 
death, and assigned unto life. 

154 Now that seal is the water of 
baptism, into which men go down 
under the obligation unto death, but 
come up appointed unto life. 


H E R M A S 

155 Wherefore to those also was 
this seal preached, and they made 
use of it, that they might enter into 
the kingdom of God. 

156 And I said, Why then, sir, did 
these forty stones also ascend with 
them out of the deep, having already 
received that seal? 

157 He answered, Because these 
Apostles and teachers, who preached 
the name of the Son of God, dying 
after they had received his faith and 
power, preached to them who were 
dead before: and they gave this seal 
to them. 

158 They went down therefore into 
the water with them, and again came 
up. But these went down whilst they 
were alive, and came up again alive: 
whereas those who were before dead, 
went down dead, but came up alive; 

159 Through these therefore they 
received life, and knew the Son of 
God: for which cause they came up 
with them, and were fit to come into 
the building of the tower; and were 
not cut, but put in entire; because 
they died in righteousness, and in 
great purity; only this seal was want- 
ing to them. 

160 Thus you have the explication 
of these things. 

161 I answered: Sir, tell me now 
what concerns those mountains; why 
are they so different, some of one 
form, and some of another? 

162 Hear, said he; These twelve 
mountains which thou seest, are 
twelve nations, which make up the 
whole world. Wherefore the Son of 
God is preached to them, by those 
whom he sent unto them. 

163 But why, said I, are they differ- 
ent, and every one of a figure? He 
replied, Hearken. Those twelve na- 
tions which possess the whole world, 
are twelve people. 

164 And as thou hast beheld these 
mountains different, so are they. I 
will therefore open to thee the 
meaning and actions of every moun- 

165 But first, sir, said I, show me 
this; Seeing these mountains are so 
different, how have they agreed in 
the building of this tower; and been 
brought to one colour; and are no 
less bright than those that came out 
of the deep? 

166 Because, replied he, all the na- 
tions which are under heaven, have 
heard and believed in the same one 
name of the Son of God by whom 
they are called. 

167 Wherefore having received his 
seal, they have all been made par- 
takers of the same understanding 
and knowledge; and their faith and 
charity have been the same; and they 
have carried the spirits of these vir- 
gins together with his name. 

168 And therefore the building of 
this tower appeared to be of the 
same colour, and did shine like the 
brightness of the sun. 

169 But after that they had thus 
agreed in one mind, there began to 
be one body of them all; howbeit 
some of them polluted themselves, 
and were cast off from those of the 
righteous, and again returned to 
their former state, and became even 
worse than they were before. 

170 How, air, said I, were they 
worse who knew the Lord? He 
answered: If he who knows not the 
Lord liveth wickedly, the punishment 
of his wickedness attends him; 

171 But he who has known the Lord, 
ought to abstain altogether from all 
wickedness, and more and more to 
be the servant of righteousness. 

172 And does not he then seem to 
thee to sin more who ought to fol- 
low goodness, if he shall prefer the 


H E R M A S 

part of sin; than he who offends 
without knowing the power of God? 

173 Wherefore these are indeed or- 
dained unto death; but they who 
have known the Lord, and have seen 
his wonderful works, if they shall 
live wickedly, they shall be doubly 
punished, and shall die for ever. 

174 As therefore thou hast seen that 
after the stones were cast out of the 
tower, which had been rejected, they 
were delivered to wicked and cruel 
spirits; and thou beheldest the tower 
so cleansed, as if it had all been 
made of one stone: 

175 So the church of God, when it 
shall be purified: (the wicked and 
counterfeits, the mischievous and 
doubtful, and all that have behaved 
themselves wickedly in it, and com- 
mitted divers kinds of sin, being cast 
out) shall become one body, and 
there shall be one understanding, 
one opinion, one faith, and the same 

176 And then shall the Son of God 
rejoice among them, and shall re- 
ceive his people with a pure will. 

177 And I said; Sir, all these things 
are great and honourable; but now 
show unto me the effect and force 
of every mountain: that every soul 
which trusteth in the Lord, when it 
shall hear these things may honour 
his great, and wonderful, and holy 

178 Hear, said he, the variety of 
these mountains, that is, of the 
twelve nations. 

179 They who have believed of the 
first mountain, which is black, are 
those who have revolted from the 
faith, and spoken wicked things 
against the Lord; and betrayed the 
servants of God. 

180 These are condemned to death; 
there is no repentance for them: and 

therefore they are black, because 
their kind is wicked. 

181 Of the second mountain which 
was smooth, are the hypocrites, who 
have believed, and the teachers of 
naughtiness: and these are next to 
the foregoing, which have not in 
them the fruit of righteousness. 

182 For as their mountain is barren 
and without fruit so also such kind 
of men have indeed the name of 
Christians, but are empty of faith; 
nor is there any fruit of the truth in 

183 Nevertheless there is room left 
to them of repentance, if they shall 
speedily pursue it; but if they shall 
delay, they also shall be partakers of 
death with the foregoing kind. 

184 I said, air, why is there room 
left to those for repentance, and not 
to the foregoing kind, seeing their 
sins are well nigh the same? 

185 There is therefore, said he, to 
these a return unto life by repent- 
ance, because they have not blas- 
phemed against their Lord, nor be- 
trayed the servants of God: but by 
their desire of gain have deceived 
men, leading them according to the 
lusts of sinners; wherefore they shall 
suffer for this thing. 

186 Howbeit there is still left them 
room for repentance, because they 
have not spoken any thing wickedly 
against the Lord. 

187 They who are of the third 
mountain which had thorns and 
brambles, are those who believed, 
but were some of them rich; others 
taken up with many affairs: the 
brambles are their riches; the thorns, 
those affairs in which they were en- 

188 Now they who are entangled in 
much business, and in diversity of 
affairs, join not themselves to the 
servants of God, but wander, being 


H E R M A S 

called away by those affairs with 
which they are choked. 

189 And so they which are rich, 
with difficulty yield themselves to 
the conversation of the servants of 
God; fearing lest any thing should be 
asked of them. These therefore shall 
hardly enter the kingdom of God. 

190 For as men walk with difficulty 
bare-foot over thorns, even so these 
kind of men shall scarcely enter into 
the kingdom of God. 

191 Nevertheless there is afforded 
to all these a return unto repentance, 
if they shall quickly return to it; be- 
cause in their for-mer days they hav- 
ing neglected to work, in the time 
that is to come they may do some 

192 If therefore having repented 
they shall do the works of righteous- 
ness, they shall live; but if they shall 
continue in their evil courses, they 
shall be delivered to those women 
who will take away their lives. 

193 As for the fourth mountain, 
which had many herbs, the upper 
part of which is green, but the roots 
dry, and some of which being 
touched with the heat of the sun, are 

194 It denotes the doubtful, who 
have believed, and some others who 
carry the Lord on their tongues, but 
have him not in their hearts: there- 
fore their grass is dry, and without 
root; because they live only in words, 
but their works are dead. 

195 These therefore are neither 
dead nor living, and withal are 
doubtful. For the doubtful are 
neither green nor dry; that is neither 
dead nor alive. 

196 For as the herbs dry away at the 
sight of the sun, so the doubtful, as 
soon as they hear of persecution, 
and fear inconveniencies, return to 
their idols, and again serve them, 

and are ashamed to bear the name of 
their Lord. 

197 This kind of men then is 
neither dead nor alive; nevertheless 
these also may live, if they shall 
presently repent; but if not, they 
shall be delivered to those women, 
who shall take away their lives. 

198 As concerning the fifth moun- 
tain that is craggy, and yet has green 
grass; they are of this kind who have 
believed, and are faithful indeed, but 
believe with difficulty, and are bold 
and self- conceited; and would be 
thought to know all things, but really 
know nothing. 

199 Wherefore, by reason of this 
confidence, knowledge is departed 
from them; and a rash presumption 
is entered into them. 

200 But they carry themselves high, 
and as prudent men; and though they 
are fools, yet would seem to be 

201 Now by reason of this folly 
many of them whilst they magnify 
themselves, are become vain and 
empty. For boldness and vain confid- 
ence is a very evil spirit. 

202 Wherefore many of these are 
cast away; but others acknowledging 
their error, have repented, and sub- 
mitted themselves to those who are 

203 And to all the rest of this kind, 
there is repentance allowed; for- 
asmuch as they were not so much 
wicked as foolish, and void of un- 

204 If these therefore shall repent, 
they shall live unto God; but if not, 
they shall dwell with those women, 
who shall exercise their wickedness 
upon them. 

205 For what concerns the sixth 
mountain having greater and lesser 
clefts, they are such as have believed; 
but those in which were lesser clefts 


H E R M A S 

are they who have had controversies 
among themselves; and by reason of 
their quarrels languish in the faith: 

206 Nevertheless many of these 
have repented, and so will the rest 
when they shall hear my commands; 
for their controversies are but small, 
and they will easily return unto re- 

207 But those who have the greater 
clefts, will be as stiff stones, mindful 
of grudges and offences, and full of 
anger among themselves. These 
therefore are cast from the tower, 
and refused to be put into its build- 
ing; for this kind of men shall hardly 

208 Our God and Lord, who ruleth 
over all things, and has power over 
all his creatures, will not remember 
our offences, but is easily appeased 
by those who confess their sins: but 
man being languid, mortal, infirm, 
and full of sins, perseveres in his an- 
ger against man; as if it were in his 
power to save or destroy him. 

209 But I, as the angel who am set 
over your repentance, admonish you, 
that whosoever among you has any 
such purpose he should lay it aside, 
and return unto repentance; and the 
Lord will heal your former sins, if 
you shall purge yourself from this 
evil spirit; but if you shall not do it, 
ye shall be delivered to him unto 

210 As for the seventh mountain in 
which the grass was green and flour- 
ishing, and the whole mountain 
faithful; and all kind of cattle fed 
upon the grass of it, and the more 
the grass was eaten, so much the 
more it flourished; 

211 They are such as believed, and 
were always good and upright; and 
without any differences among them- 
selves, but still rejoiced in the ser- 
vants of God, having put on the 

spirit of these virgins; and been al- 
ways forward to show mercy to all 
men, readily giving to all men of 
their labours without upbraiding, 
and without deliberation. 

212 Wherefore the Lord seeing their 
simplicity and innocence, has in- 
creased them in the works of their 
hands, and given them grace in all 
their works. 

213 But I, who am the angel appoin- 
ted over your repentance, exhort 
you, that as many as are of this kind 
would continue in the same purpose, 
that your seed may not be rooted out 
for ever. 

214 For the Lord hath tried you, and 
written you into our number; and all 
your seed shall dwell with the Son of 
God; for ye are all of his spirit. 

215 As concerning the eighth moun- 
tain in which were a great many 
springs, by which every kind of all 
the creatures of God was watered; 
they are such as have believed the 
Apostles which the Lord sent into all 
the world to preach; 

216 And some of them being teach- 
ers have preached and taught purely 
and sincerely, and have not in the 
least yielded to any evil, desires, but 
have constantly walked in righteous- 
ness and truth. 

217 These therefore have their con- 
versations among the angels. 

218 Again; as for what concerns the 
ninth mountain which is a desert, 
and full of serpents; they are such as 
have believed, but had many stains: 

219 These are such ministers as dis- 
charge their ministry amiss; ravish- 
ing away the goods of the widows 
and fatherless; and serve themselves, 
not others, out of those things 
which they have received. 

220 These, if they continue in this 
covetousness, have delivered them- 
selves unto death, nor shall there be 


H E R M A S 

any hope of life for them. But if 
they shall be converted, and shall 
discharge their ministry sincerely, 
they may live. 

221 As for those which were found 
rough, they are such as have denied 
the name of the Lord, and not re- 
turned again to the Lord, but have 
become savage and wild; not apply- 
ing themelves to the servants of 
God; but being separated from them, 
have for a little carelessness lost 
their lives. 

222 For as a vine that is forsaken in 
a hedge, and never dressed, perishes 
and is choked by the weeds, and in 
time becomes wild, and ceases to be 
useful to its lord; so this kind of 
men despairing of themselves, and 
being soured, have begun to be un- 
profitable to their Lord. 

223 Howbeit, to these there is, after 
all, repentance allowed, if they shall 
not be found from their hearts to 
have denied Christ; but if any of 
these shall be found to have denied 
him from his heart, I cannot tell 
whether such a one can attain unto 

224 I say therefore that if any one 
hath denied, he should in these days 
return unto repentance; for it cannot 
be that anyone who now denies the 
Lord, can afterwards attain unto sal- 
vation nevertheless repentance is 
promised unto them who have 
formerly denied. 

225 But he who will repent must 
hasten on his repentance, before the 
building of this tower is finished; 
otherwise, he shall be delivered by 
those women unto death. 

226 But they that are maimed, are 
the deceitful; and those who mix 
with one another, are the serpents 
that you saw mingled in that moun- 

227 For as the poison of serpents is 
deadly unto men, so the words of 
such persons infect and destroy men. 
They are therefore maimed in their 
faith, by reason of that kind of life 
which they lead. 

228 Howbeit some of them, having 
repented, have been saved; and so 
shall others of the same kind be also 
saved, if they shall repent; but if 
not, they shall die by those women 
who power and force posses, 

229 For what concerns the tenth 
mountain, in which were the trees 
covering the cattle, they are such as 
have believed; and some of them 
have been bishops, that is, governors 
of the churches. 

230 Others, are such stones as have 
not feignedly, but with a cheerful 
mind entertained the servants of 

231 Then, such as have been set 
over inferior ministries, and have 
protected the poor and the widows; 
and have always kept a chaste con- 
versation: therefore they also are 
protected by the Lord. 

232 Whosoever shall do on this 
wise, are honoured with the Lord; 
and their place is among the angels, 
if they shall continue to obey the 
Lord even unto the end. 

233 As to the eleventh mountain in 
which were trees loaded with several 
sorts of fruit; they are such as have 
believed, and suffered death, for the 
name of the Lord; and have endured 
with a heavy mind, and have given 
up their lives with all their hearts. 

234 And I said, Why then, sir, have 
all these fruit indeed, but yet some 
fairer than others? 

235 Hearken, said he: Whosoever 
have suffered for the name of the 
Lord are esteemed honourable by the 
Lord; and all their offences are blot- 
ted out, because they have suffered 


H E R M A S 

death for the name of the Son of 

236 Hear now, why their fruits are 
different, and some of them excel 
others. They who were brought be- 
fore magistrates, and being asked, 
denied not the Lord, but suffered 
with a ready mind; these are more 
honourable with the Lord. The fruits 
therefore that are the most fair are 

237 But they who were fearful and 
doubtful, and have deliberated with 
themselves whether they should con- 
fess or deny Christ, and yet have 
suffered; their fruits are smaller, be- 
cause that this thought came into 
their hearts. 

238 For it is a wicked and evil 
thought for a servant to deliberate 
whether he should deny his master: 
Take heed therefore ye who have 
such thoughts, that this mind 
Pontinrie not in you, and ye die unto 

239 But ye who suffer death for his 
name sake, ought to honour the 
Lord, that he has esteemed you 
worthy to bear his name; and that 
you should be delivered from all 
your sins. 

240 And why therefore do you not 
rather esteem yourselves happy? Ye 
think verily that if any one among 
you suffer, he performs a great work! 
Yet the Lord giveth you life, and ye 
understand it not. For your offences 
did oppress you; and if you had not 
suffered for his name sake, ye would 
now be dead unto the Lord. 

241 Wherefore I speak this unto you 
who deliberate whether ye should 
confess or deny him. Confess that ye 
have the Lord for your God, lest at 
any time denying him, ye be de- 
livered up into bonds. 

242 For if all nations punish their 
servants which deny their masters; 

what think you that the Lord will do 
unto you, who has the power of all 

243 Remove therefore out of your 
hearts these doubts, that ye may live 
for ever unto God. 

244 As for the twelfth mountain, 
which was white, they are such as 
have believed like sincere children, 
into whose thoughts there never 
came any malice, nor have they ever 
known what sin was, but have always 
continued in their integrity. 

245 Wherefore this kind of men 
shall without all doubt inherit the 
kingdom of God; because they have 
never in any thing defiled the com- 
mandments of God, but have contin- 
ued with sincerity in the same condi- 
tion all the days of their lives. 

246 Whosoever therefore, said he, 
shall continue as children without 
malice; shall be more honourable 
than all those of whom I have yet 
spoken: for all such children are 
honoured by the Lord, and esteemed 
the first of all. 

247 Happy therefore are ye who 
shall remove all malice from you, 
and put on innocence; be. cause ye 
shall first see the Lord. 

248 And after he had thus ended his 
explication of all the mountains, I 
said unto him, Sir, show me now also 
what concerns the stones that were 
brought out of the plain, and put 
into the tower in the room of those 
that were rejected. 

249 As also concerning those round 
stones which were added into the 
building of the tower; and also of 
those who still continued round. 

250 Hear now, says he, concerning 
those stones which were brought out 
of the plain into the building of the 
tower, and placed in the room of 
those that were rejected: they are the 
roots of that white mountain. 


H E R M A S 

251 Wherefore because those who 
have believed of that mountain, were 
very innocent; the lord of this tower 
commanded that they which were of 
the roots of this mountain should be 
placed into the building. 

252 For he knew that if they were 
put into, this building they would 
continue bright; nor would any of 
them any more be made black. 

253 But if he had added after this 
manner, from the rest of the moun- 
tains, he would almost have needed 
again to visit the tower, and to 
cleanse it. 

254 Now all these white stones are 
the young men who have believed, or 
shall believe; for they are all of the 
same kind. Happy is this kind, be- 
cause it is innocent. 

255 Hear now also concerning those 
round and bright stones; all these are 
of this white mountain. But they are 
therefore found round, because their 
riches have a little darkened them 
from the truth, and dazzled their 

256 Howbeit they have never depar- 
ted from the Lord, nor has any 
wicked word proceeded out of their 
mouths; but all righteousness, and 
virtue, and truth. 

257 When therefore the Lord saw 
their minds, and that they might ad- 
orn the truth; he commanded that 
they should continue good, and that 
their riches should be pared away: 

258 For he would not have them 
taken wholly away, to the end they 
might do some good with that which 
was left, and live unto God; because 
they also are of a good kind. 

259 Therefore was there little cut 
off from them, and so they were put 
into the building of this tower. 

260 As for the rest which continued 
still round, and were not found fit 
for the building of this tower, be- 

cause they have not yet received the 
seal; they were carried back to their 
place, be. cause they were found very 

261 But this present world must be 
cut away from them, and the vanities 
of their riches; and then they will be 
fit for the kingdom of God. For they 
must enter into the kingdom of God, 
because God has blessed this inno- 
cent kind. 

262 Of this kind therefore none 
shall fall away: for though any of 
them being tempted by the devil 
should offend, he shall soon return 
to his Lord God. 

263 I the angel of repentance es- 
teem you happy, whosoever are inno- 
cent as little children, because your 
portion is good and honourable with 
the Lord. 

264 And I say unto all you who have 
received this seal; keep simplicity, 
and remember not the offences 
which are committed against you, 
nor continue in malice, or in bitter- 
ness, through the memory of of- 

265 But become one spirit, and 
provide remedies for these evil rents, 
and remove them from you; that the 
lord of the sheep may rejoice at it; 
for he will rejoice, if he shall find all 

266 But if any of these sheep shall 
be found scattered away, Woe shall 
be to the shepherds; and if the shep- 
herds themselves shall be scattered; 
what will they answer to the lord of 
the sheep-fold? Will they say that 
they were troubled by the sheep? But 
they shall not be believed. 

267 For it is an incredible thing that 
the shepherd should suffer by his 
flock; and he shall be the more pun- 
ished for his life. 

268 Now I am the shepherd; and es- 
pecially must give an account of you. 


H E R M A S 

269 Wherefore take care of 
yourselves whilst the tower is, yet 
building. The Lord dwells in those 
that love peace, for peace is beloved; 
but he is far off from the conten- 
tious, and those who are full of 

270 Wherefore restore unto him the 
Spirit entire, as ye received it. For if 
thou shalt give unto a fuller a gar- 
ment new and whole, thou wilt ex- 
pect to receive it whole again; if 
therefore the fuller shall restore it 
unto thee torn, wouldst thou receive 

271 Wouldst thou not presently be 
angry, and reproach him, saying: I 
gave my garment to thee whole, why 
halt thou rent it, and made it useless 
to me? Now it is of no use to me, by 
reason of the rent which thou hast 
made in it. Wouldst thou not say all 
this to a fuller, for the rent which he 
made in thy garment? 

272 If therefore thou wouldst be 
concerned for thy garment, and com- 
plain that thou hadst not received it 
whole; what thinkest thou that the 
Lord will do, who gave his Spirit to 
thee entire, and thou hast rendered 
him altogether unprofitable, so that 
he can be of no use unto his Lord? 
For being corrupted by thee, he is no 
longer profitable to him. 

273 Will not therefore the Lord do 
the same concerning his Spirit, by 
reason of thy deed? Undoubtedly, 
said I, he will do the same to all 
those whom he shall find to continue 
in the remembrance of injuries. 

274 Tread not then under foot he 
said, his mercy; but rather honour 
him, because he is so patient with re- 
spect to your offences, and not like 
one of you; but repent, for it will be 
profitable for you. 

275 All these things which are 
above written, I the shepherd and 

angel of repentance, have shown and 
spoken to the servants of God. 

276 If therefore ye shall believe and 
hearken to these words, and shall 
walk in them and correct your ways, 
ye shall live. But if ye shall, continue 
in malice, and in the remembrance 
of injuries, no such sinners shall live 
unto God. 

277 All these things which were to 
be spoken by me, I have thus de- 
livered unto you. Then the shepherd 
said unto me, Hast thou asked all 
things of me? I answered, sir, I have. 

278 Why then, said he, hast thou 
not asked concerning the spaces of 
these stones that were put in the 
building, that I may explain that also 
unto thee? I answered, sir, I forgot 
it. Hear, then, said he, concerning 
these also. 

279 They are those who have now 
heard these commands, and have re- 
pented with all their hearts; 

280 And when the Lord saw that 
their repentance was good and pure, 
and that they could continue in it, he 
commanded their former sins to be 
blotted out. For these spaces were 
their sins, and they are therefore 
made even that they might not ap- 

Of Repentance and alms-deeds. 
AFTER I had written this book, the 
angel which had delivered me to that 
shepherd, came into the house where 
I was and sat upon the bed, and that 
shepherd stood at his right hand. 

2 Then he called me and said unto 
me; I delivered thee and thy house to 
this shepherd, that thou mightest be 
protected by him. I said, Yes, Lord. 

3 If therefore, said he, thou wilt be 
protected from all vexations and 
from all cruelty, and have success in 
every good word and work, and have 


H E R M A S 

all virtue and righteousness; walk in 
those commands which he has given 
thee, and thou shalt have dominion 
over all sin. 

4 For if thou keepest those com- 
mands, all the lust and pleasure of 
this present world shall be subject to 
thee; and success shall follow thee in 
every good undertaking. 

5 Take therefore his gravity and 
modesty towards thee, and say unto 
all, that he is in great honour and 
renown with God, and is a prince of 
great authority, and powerful in his 

6 To him only is the power of re- 
pentance committed throughout the 
whole world. Does he not seem to 
thee to be of great authority? 

7 But ye despise his goodness, and 
the modesty which he shows towards 

8 I said unto him; Sir, ask him since 
the time that he came into my house 
whether I have done any thing dis- 
orderly, or have offended him in any 

9 I know, said he, that thou hast 
done nothing disorderly, neither wilt 
thou hereafter do any such thing, 
and therefore I speak these things 
with thee that then mayest persevere; 
for he has given me a good account 
concerning thee. 

10 But thou shalt speak these things 
to others, that they who either have 
repented, or shall repent, may be 
like-minded with thee, and he may 
give me as good an account of them 
also; and that I may do the same 
unto the Lord. 

11 I answered; Sir, I declare to all 
men the wonderful works of God; 
and I hope that all who love them, 
and have before sinned, when they 
shall hear these things, will repent, 
and recover life. 

12 Continue therefore, said he, in 
this ministry, and fulfil it. And who- 
soever shall do according to the 
commands of this shepherd, he shall 
live; and shall have great honour 
both here and with the Lord. 

13 But they that shall not keep his 
commands, flee from their life, and 
are adversaries to it. And they that 
follow not his commands, shall de- 
liver themselves unto death; and 
shall be every one guilty of his own 

14 But I say unto thee, keep these 
commandments, and thou shalt find 
a cure for all thy sins. 

15 Moreover, I have sent these vir- 
gins to dwell with thee; for I have 
seen that they are very kind to thee. 
Thou shalt therefore have them for 
thy helpers, that thou mayest the 
better keep the commands which he 
hath given thee; for these commands 
cannot be kept without these virgins. 

16 And as I see how they are willing 
to be with thee, I will also command 
them that they shall not all depart 
from thy house. 

17 Only do thou purify thy house; 
for they will readily dwell in a clean 
house. For they are clean and chaste, 
and industrious; and all of them 
have grace with the Lord. 

18 If therefore thou shalt have thy 
house pure, they will abide with 
thee. But, if it shall be never so little 
polluted, they will immediately de- 
part from thy house; for these vir- 
gins cannot endure any manner of 

19 I said unto him; Sir, I hope that I 
shall so please them, that they shall 
always delight to dwell in my house. 
And as be to whom you have com- 
mitted me, makes no complaint of 
me; so neither shall they complain. 

20 Then he said to that shepherd: I 
see that the servant of God will live 


H E R M A S 

and keep these commandments, and 
place these virgins in a pure habita- 

21 When he had said this, he de- 
livered me again to that shepherd, 
and called the virgins, and said unto 
them; Forasmuch as I see that ye will 
readily dwell in this man's house, I 
commend him and his family to you, 
that ye may not at all depart from 
his house. And they willingly heard 
these words. 

22 Then he said unto me, Go on 
manfully in thy ministry; declare to 
all men the great things of God, and 
thou shalt find grace in this ministry. 

23 And whosover shall walk in these 
commands, shall live, and be happy 
in his life. But he that shall neglect 
them, shall not live, and shall be un- 
happy in his life. 

24 Say unto all that whosoever can 
do well, cease not to exercise them- 
selves in good works, for it is profit- 
able unto them. For I would that all 
men should be delivered from the in- 
conveniences they lie under. 

25 For he that wants, and suffers in- 
conveniences in his daily life, is in 
great torment and necessity. Whoso- 
ever therefore delivers such a soul 
from necessity, gets great joy unto 

26 For he that is grieved with such 
inconveniencies is equally tormen- 
ted, as if he were in chains. And 
many upon the account of such 
calamities, being not able to bear 
them, have chosen even to destroy 

27 He therefore that knows the 
calamity of such a man, and does not 
free him from it, commits a great 
sin, and is guilty of his blood. 

28 Wherefore exercise your, selves 
in good works, as many as have re- 
ceived ability from the Lord; lest 
whilst ye delay to do them, the 

building of the tower be finished; 
because for your sakes the building 
is stopped. 

29 Except therefore ye shall make 
haste to do well, the tower shall be 
finished, and ye shall be shut out of 

30 And after he had thus spoken 
with me, he rose up from the bed 
and departed, taking the shepherd 
and virgins with him. 

31 Howbeit he said unto me, that he 
would send back the shepherd and 
virgins unto my house. Amen.